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Specialists Awards finalists: Training Excellence

Find out what marks these companies out as excellent trainers in the industry.

AFI Uplift

AFI employees received a record amount of training in 2013 - 1,049 training days compared with 624 days the year before.

Training has been increased for machine delivery drivers and plant operators, and specialist telehandler operation training was provided for all 20 AFI sites following a business acquisition.

Staff are trained on viable need, not just budget requirements.

AR Demolition

As a relatively new player in the demolition industry, AR Demolition has sought to transform the culture within the sector.

Each employee receives 10 days’ training per year on average, while two Stop the Job days are held each year to focus on lessons learnt and other training requirements.

Managing director Richard Dolman is also chair of the National Demolition Training Group.

Caunton Engineering

Faced with recruitment problems in 2004, this structural steelwork contractor decided to open its own academy for apprentices.

Since then, five apprentices have been recruited each year, with a current retention rate of 90 per cent, and the average age of staff falling from 55 to 38 years old.

The firm also works closely with local schools to facilitate more than 10 work experience placements each year.

Cuddy Group

Cuddy Group committed an investment of £133,000 in training its staff during 2013.

This backing resulted in 1,151 days spent training employees on topics from confined spaces through to tree protection.

A five-year health and safety training strategy was launched in 2008 and is now fully implemented, with every member of staff directly involved in the system.

Eurovia Group

Eurovia Group has invested in developing its own in-house managing safety course.

This programme is for line managers and supervisors, as well as staff within the business, in the supply chain and on the client side.

The 100th course was delivered last year, meaning that more than 2,000 Eurovia Group staff have received the course since it first ran 11 years ago.

Lift & Engineering Services

With no existing qualifications or training programmes offering quite what the company needed, Lift & Engineering Services harnessed Northampton’s National Lift Tower for its own training purposes.

The 418 ft-high historic monument has been used to train more than 60 employees so far in a wide range of areas, allowing the company to create its own courses and modular training programmes.

O’Brien Contractors

O’Brien Contractors’ training budget increased by 21 per cent during 2013 and is set to go up by a further 11 per cent this year.

The company’s commitment to training has allowed a number of its staff to progress within the business to assume management and supervisory positions.

At the same time, its programme has ensured that staff satisfaction levels are extremely high.


Last year saw the first PiLON employees graduate from the company’s Management Academy after completing a six-month in-house training programme.

The company also opened its second Innovation, Vetting and Training Centre in Plymouth to test the skills of new operatives and ensure they are trained in health and safety and customer service before going on site.

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Contact Shane Murphy on 020 3033 2657 or email

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