Crane company plans for future with its first intake of apprentices

Ainscough Crane Hire has welcomed its first intake of crane operator apprentices at its Standish headquarters in Wigan.

The three-year course will offer participants a gateway into the crane industry, supported by Ainscough in gaining the required skills and qualifications.

In the first year the apprentices will gain their Slinger/Signaller qualification before going on to achieve their HGV Class 2 licence and Mobile Crane Operator qualification over the three year period.

By this time each person who has completed the course will be a fully qualified blue card crane operator.

While training as a Slinger/Signaller in the initial 12 months, the apprentices will be assigned an experienced lift supervisor as a mentor and visit sites with a contract lift team.

The apprentices will be based at 11 different Ainscough operating centres across the country – from Stockton to West London.

Darren Thompson, Ainscough Crane Hire’s head of HR, said: “The past year has been very difficult for young people and, therefore, it’s been so cheering to see the enthusiasm and eagerness to learn that our first ever crane operator apprentices have shown at our induction sessions.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to join the crane industry. Ainscough is currently working on both HS2 and Hinkley Point C – two of the largest infrastructure projects the UK has ever seen.

Some of the inaugural intake

“Additionally, we’re proud to continue to support our clients in the construction sector on the commercial and residential developments that will play a part in revitalising the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as clean energy schemes that will help protect our planet for future generations.”

He added: “Our intake has a wide geographic spread, with some becoming the second generation of their family to work at Ainscough. It’s also pleasing that two recruits are female.

“The crane industry is excessively male dominated and, in particular, there is lack of diversity in crane operators. While that isn’t going to change overnight, we’re committed to doing all we can to promote our industry as a good career choice for women.”

Kelsey Binding, who will undertake training at Ainscough’s Manchester depot, said: “I’m really excited to be one of Ainscough’s first ever crane operator apprentices.

“The company has a brilliant reputation and it will be a great experience for me to learn from some of the best people in the business. This is an amazing opportunity for me to begin my career in the crane industry and I can’t wait to get started.”

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