TRAINEE plant operators are being taught by instructors who do not have enough experience of actually working on the equipment themselves.
Furious instructors have told Construction News plant training is being dumbed down to keep instructor numbers up.
For the main operators' scheme, the CPCS, instructors need to demonstrate five years' experience working with plant and two years on the specific machines being taught.
But one instructor at a leading training centre said: 'How can you be taught on the job by someone who has no experience on the job themselves?
Some of these guys clearly don't meet the entry terms.'
Another experienced instructor said the problem was made worse by insufficient checks being made on would-be instructors.
He added: 'Forms are being vetted by people who don't know the specific categories in depth and they don't phone up the particular industry to verify the candidate's claims.'
Trainers have wa rned that the situation will get worse, due to the shortage of assessors to oversee the NVQ element of operators' CPCS cards.
There are currently 340 assessors in the country and 3,500 holders of CPCS cards who need to upgrade this year.
A CITB-ConstructionSkills spokesman said: 'There has been no change to the criteria to becoming an instructor. CPCS has a robust system.'