Tarmac National Skills and Safety Park gets up and running
Richard Vine, regional director, Contracting
Our commitment to the development and safety of our people has seen us open the doors to an industry-leading training facility. It is set to give our new colleagues the best possible start in our business and improve ongoing development and certification too. The investment is a first for our industry. It will allow everyone attending to learn in the way that’s best for them and get the hands-on experience they need to do their job in the safest possible way.
The Park, which was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Cambridge in February 2020, boasts six training rooms. There is room to train up to 70 people a day, both operational and functional colleagues, and the operational competence team will be dealing with at least 2,500 people a year. The new facility includes an occupational hazard area to highlight the importance of our 16 life-saving rules, a road-building area for Contracting colleagues and a workshop to train and assess our maintenance colleagues. There is also a material handling area which will allow novice plant operators to develop skills in a controlled environment. We also utilise the adjacent quarry to enhance the learning for those that work in the extraction process.
Matt Gibbs, senior manager for operational competence, said: “You learn more when you’re ‘doing’, so we’ve tried to represent the whole of the Tarmac business on this Nottinghamshire site – the training centre really shows how diverse our business is. The Park is the new home of learning in our business where we can now give people the right skills and knowledge for every task and role.”
All new operational colleagues will attend a two-day on-boarding programme to learn about how our business works, the people in it and our health and safety values. Existing colleagues can now apply what they are learning in a practical environment that houses everything from vertical and horizontal silos, to conveyors and cement mixers, so they can see how it works in the real world.
Matt added: “It’s really allowing us to push our 12-month Professional Operator Development Programme. Our first cohort of 11 people have successfully completed and passed with distinction, and 45 more are currently on the programme. The first people went through our four-day road-building re-certification programme in October too, allowing them to go back to site with everything they need to go on a customer site. In future, mobile plant operators will all have the same plant expiry dates, and entire gangs will develop together at The Park. We’re also looking to the future as well. Our apprenticeship programme has been given employer provider status, allowing us to self-deliver apprenticeships to encourage new talent into our business.”