Bold new hire planned as Scottish Plant Owners Association creates new role to help tackle skills shortage

The Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) is looking to recruit a Skills and Training Lead to help tackle the skills shortage and promote careers in the plant industry.

This new position is a significant milestone for the SPOA, as President John Sibbald explains: “We know that there is a skills shortage and that it is difficult to attract young people into the industry as these issues are always top of the list of concerns when we speak to members.

“The SPOA has made great strides to address this challenge recently with investment in the Tenstar simulator and training, the introduction of subsidised training programmes and a much stronger relationship with the CITB to develop the plant operator, plant mechanic and crane operator apprenticeships. However, we believe that having a permanent full-time member of staff focused on skills and training will mean that we can address this challenge more effectively and better represent the plant industry with all relevant stakeholders including industry bodies, card schemes, schools and of course our members.”

Responsibilities of the Skills and Training Lead will include:

  • Engaging with members to increase apprenticeship numbers in Scotland.
  • Engaging with parents, schools, colleges and DYW to raise awareness of plant industry careers.
  • Devising specific SPOA training courses and promoting existing upskilling courses such as Machine Control.
  • Being responsible for the Tenstar simulator and encouraging members to use it as a recruitment tool.
  • Supporting members at events with the plant simulator.
  • Identifying funding opportunities for the Association and its members.
  • Collaborating with bodies such as SQA, CPCS, CITB, CLC, ECITB and providing plant industry expertise.
  • Addressing member challenges and needs at local and government level with regard to training and careers in the plant industry.
  • Engaging with apprentices both at college and in the workplace.

The SPOA is hoping to hire someone with a minimum of five years’ experience in industry in a training, operational or other associated plant role and hopes to have the successful candidate in post by August.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to find out more about the role and benefits. A full job description can be viewed at

Pictured is Gail McEwen leading training on the Tenstar simulator.

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