12/10/2021 - 14:15 pm

Gravity defying training

Ross Moloney, CEO of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), explains how investment in new training channels, technologies and culture will help the lifting industry to continue to defy gravity in safety.

Why does LEEA exist? Sometimes it’s the simplest questions that can require the most thought. Having pondered on this one recently, I believe LEEA exists to highlight the ever-present battle by man, machine, systems and processes to overcome gravity and bad practice to achieve a safer industry. When all is said and done, it really is as straightforward as that. And that’s what powers the Association’s drive for global standards and developing a culture of lifting safely across all sectors around the world. Of course, defying gravity does not come naturally to humans, and that is why training is a vital part of this drive.

Significant investment to boost training has been sanctioned by the LEEA Board this year. It includes a technology upgrade In the Huntingdon training centre, which is now equipped with high tech cameras, speakers, microphones and other equipment enabling training to be delivered via Zoom with maximum effectiveness, and our staff holding classes with delegates from across the world – Including working nights to support our global membership.

Our monthly target for training delivery, which is is to educate 250 students, is routinely exceeded.  Roughly one third of this is now on Zoom and two thirds on e-learning. As we come out of the pandemic, face-to-face training will return, but we anticipate a continued appetite for Zoom and an increased demand for e-learning.

In addition, the investment has enabled an upgrade in LEEA’s e-learning suite to make it a real option for learners. By utilising all the best techniques, the enhanced e-learning will ensure students are better able to retain information, meaning the training will stick. And crucially, this training will be available in four non-English languages.  Next year we will have training and assessments available in Arabic, Bahasa, Brazilian Portuguese and Simplified Chinese. After a rigorous process we have settled on a supplier who began work for us in August.  I am grateful for the Board’s oversight, support and willingness to invest in the future of the Association in this way.

Continuing the training theme, the Apprenticeship work in England is now awaiting ministerial sign off.  I thank in particular Kat Moss – current LEEA deputy Chair and recently declared as the new Chair for January 2022 – for her diligence and patience with the authorities.  But we are nearly there.  And I can announce with some excitement that the newly formed Regional Council in Australia and New Zealand has made bringing to life a similar solution for their market place its number one priority.

How we exchange and transmit knowledge is something we’re also working on.  Traditionally we’ve been about documents and meetings, but the world is changing.  And so are we.  Hopefully many of you will have seen our COPSULE animation on leeaint.com, which is a great way to educate large numbers of people and quickly. This is a good example of how we are now looking at better means to transfer our knowledge in bite-sized chunks.  Options might include films, presentations and webinars.

There have been many extremely difficult decisions to make in the past two years.  I am grateful to have had a Board ready to contribute to and test the thinking necessary to run the organisation during the pandemic. Largely our service has remained consistent. Finding new ways to train is an important contribution to the firm foundations we are building to allow the Association to move forward with confidence. I for one am excited about the next few years of gravity defying excellence in complete safety.

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