Train to gain

Properly training operators is a key part of ensuring safety on site.

From VR simulators to viral video content, technology and the digital post pandemic world are showing smarter ways to communicate, learn and teach. NIAMH MARRIOTT reports. Speaking to Chris Hines, head of Mammoet’s people development and recruitment and Wilfred de Boer, senior SPMT supervisor at Mammoet, it seems the biggest trends in training today concern safety and scalability. The lack of industry wide standardisation, global accessibility and communication are big challenges to overcome. The digital landscape too is changing operator training, and fast.

Operator training – What are the biggest changes and trends?

Wilfred de Boer: Safety is the most important issue. The amount of SPMT in the world over the last 15 years has grown dramatically. And the funny thing? Everybody can operate them. You don’t have to have any licence or any training. There’s no rules for it, no laws. It’s different from the crane industry. Chris Hines: I joined as part of the acquisition from ALE. The emphasis for us is on safety. In terms of changes and trends, it’s scale. It’s how we reach and communicate messages of common standards of safety across what is now a vast organisation.

What are the biggest skills shortages you need to address with training?

Chris: I think it very much depends on who you talk to. Operators make up 60 to 70 per cent of our organisation. Our emphasis is on making sure people are competent to operate our equipment safely.

Wilfred: In terms of skill shortages, we go to all different countries, different projects start all the time and it’s getting more and more difficult to bring specialists to the location because of contractual matters. You have to use local people and train them. You have to find the right people, technical people who areinterested – and who hopefully speak English or are willing to learn. English is a worldwide common language but sometimes it’s the first barrier and you have to explain the benefits of learning it.

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