Sir, I read with interest your article about the need to ensure that plant operators can become qualified ('Qualification crisis looms over industry', Construction News, September 2).
The shortage of NVQ Level 2 courses in specialised plant and machinery operations is an issue that CITB-ConstructionSkills has been aware of for some time and has been working to address.
There are 300 plant centres across the UK currently delivering intermediate certificates in specialist plant and machinery operations as part of the CPCS scheme.
We identified that these centres would be well placed to deliver NVQ training and over half of them are now doing so.
We are running a series of briefings in October to take the remaining centres through the process of delivering NVQs.
In addition, I understand the CPCS are encouraging these centres to deliver NVQs and will be recommending them to employers and operators.
In addition we have developed two packages, in collaboration with City and Guilds, which will map the candidate's existing skills against NVQ requirements.
The first package, which is being piloted at the moment and is hoped to be available by the end of the year, takes into account the skills candidates have gained on the Intermediate Certificate, which will mean fewer tests are needed to gain a full NVQ Level 2.
The second package, the NVQ Assessment Pack, is available to assessors and assessment centres now.
It allows plant workers without an Intermediate Certificate to have their current skills and experience assessed, much like the OSAT process, with outstanding skills gained through further study.
We hope that these measures will ensure that the plant industry does not face the impending crisis predicted in your report.
Nick Gooderson Head of standards and qualifications CITB-ConstructionSkills London