Occupational profile - plant equipment

Information on apprenticeships in the construction crafts (plant equipment) industry, including what’s involved, skills and knowledge needed and progression routes for apprentices.

Plant equipment

An occupation in plant equipment involves carrying out advanced skilled work.

The level 3 plant mechanic can do complex job tasks, requiring high levels of practical skills and knowledge, as well as managing their own work and leading small teams.

The main differences between a level 2 plant mechanic are that the level 3 plant mechanic has responsibility for managing their own and other people’s work, as well as being required to complete complex and non-standard work.

This apprenticeship involves:

  • completing mandatory and optional units
  • working on a construction site or in a workshop, to given specifications, repairing and servicing vehicles and machines for various construction operations, such as excavators, earth movers, forklifts, telescopic handlers, dumper trucks
  • regularly inspecting engines, gearboxes and hydraulics
  • identifying faults and repairing or replacing faulty parts
  • reassembling parts and testing them
  • arranging for machinery to be moved to the repair workshop
  • carrying out routine servicing of plant and equipment
  • using hand and power tools and specialist equipment
  • having excellent mechanical maintenance skills
  • communication skills for working with clients and other operators
  • problem-solving skills
  • being able to work alone without direct supervision

Plant and equipment mechanics need to:

  • work safely and be aware of key health, safety and welfare issues
  • plan and carry out their work to commercial standards of quality and speed
  • move, handle and store resources, complying with relevant legislation and guidance
  • interpret and follow verbal and written work instructions from trade supervisors and site managers
  • select the required materials and resources to carry out the work
  • install related materials and components as appropriate to the specification
  • use maintain and store hand tools, power tools and associated equipment
  • access, interpret and use drawings and specifications to carry out their work

On completion of this apprenticeship, level 3 plant mechanics will have the same occupational skills as a level 2 plant mechanic but will also be able to understand the advanced technical principles and utilise a range of skills which allow them to carry out complex work to highly skilled standards and tolerances.

Progression

This apprenticeship will enable progression to:

  • occupational work supervision
  • depot management
  • sales
  • technical support areas
  • HNC/ HND civil engineering (plant operations), construction site management (plant operations)
  • foundation degree

National occupational standards (NOS)

Every framework must be underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS) which sets out the standards of performance you must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding.

Behaviours may be detailed within or alongside the NOS.

Core NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

VR209

Confirm work activities and resources for the work

VR210

Develop and maintain good working relationships

VR211

Confirm the occupational method of work

Available NOS

Unique registration number (URN) Title of the occupational standard

R659

Operate plant machinery or machinery for non-operational activities

VR664

Diagnose faults in plant or machinery systems or components

VR670

Determine and complete service to maintain plant or machinery

VR671

Determine and advise on the viability of repair or replacement for returning plant or machinery to service

VR663

Inspect plant or machinery for operational serviceability

VR665

 

Install, repair or modify construction resources by heating, welding, brazing, soldering and thermal cutting

VR666

Produce one-off components to restore or maintain the operational functions of plant or machinery

VR667

Install plant or machinery for operational activities

VR668

Carry out specific tests on plant or machinery to determine operational serviceability

VR669

Configure plant or machinery for specific operational activities

VR672

Hand over plant or machinery to the control of others

VR673

Provide technical information, advice and guidance to users of plant or machinery

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