Edinburgh based, Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd has lifted the award for ‘Scotland’s Top Training Operator of the Year, 2018’ at the annual Transport News Scottish Rewards presentation ceremony.
The event was held late last November and the popular breakfast celebration attracted 600 road haulage industry guests, who filled the banqueting suite at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. The judges were impressed at Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes’ determination to form its own in-house training department, when faced with challenges recruiting experienced personnel.
Today it is almost impossible to qualify as a licenced mobile crane driver, unless you own a mobile crane to take to a test centre, or are already employed as a crane driver. Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd has addressed this catch 22 situation head on, by utilising its established in-house training department to produce a structured career path. Since 2014, the company has put six staff members through its crane drivers’ academy, which in some cases can see staff starting from scratch by gaining private car or HGV driving licences. The professional crane drivers and operator’s qualification programme is regulated by the Construction Plant Competence Scheme.
A continuous policy of investing in new technology and crane types has also required experienced staff at Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd to progress their training and skills sets, to keep pace with the latest crane fleet arrivals. Two examples of this ethos are the firm’s innovative Spierings Mobile Tower Cranes and a truck based, Bocker crane. The latter is based on a 26-tonne chassis and is the first of its type operated in Scotland.
Mark Rafferty, Managing Director at Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes Ltd said, “To win the trophy for Scotland’s Top Training Operator 2018 is a fantastic accolade for our company. We have never seen training as a cost, it’s an investment in our business. Our goal is to train people for safety and competency reasons, not for awards, so to be recognised with an industry prize like this is a great honour.”