Times readers with head for heights offered exclusive apprenticeship
NO KNOWLEDGE or experience of working in a safety environment or on a wind turbine is required to become an apprentice trainer, but a head for heights and a sense of bravery would certainly be favourable. The job of a trainer at Truman and Hall is not for the faint-hearted.
It is physically demanding but exhilarating as you fly 30 metres through the air.
The two-year apprenticeship offered exclusively to Thanet Times readers by Truman and Hall incorporates confined spaces training, emergency first aid at work, manual handling, fire safety awareness and working at height.
James Yeomans, director of Truman and Hall Safety, said: "We are looking for two apprentices from the Thanet area who are enthusiastic, driven and have the aptitude to learn. We will teach them everything they need to know to become a trainer."
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The comprehensive training package will provide the apprentices, who should be aged between 20 and 25, with academic and practical qualifications.
Practical shoes and an overall (not a skirt or dress, as I discovered) are required for the programme, but the scheme is not restricted to male candidates only.
Mr Yeomans said: "Renewable energy is the only emerging industry left in the UK. It is our future and we want to cultivate homegrown talent within our organisation.
"We have a lot of women coming through to do these courses and we would welcome a female apprentice to the team. We want to have trainers from Thanet, teaching people from the area, ahead of them going out onto the turbines."
The demand for wind turbine courses has increased as more people aspire to work in the industry.
Colin Cross, commercial manager at Truman and Hall, said: "A lot of people want to gain employment in the industry but don't have the qualifications to do so. We see a lot people coming through here on training courses to help further their career prospects."
The increased demand for the courses gave an opening for the company to create the apprenticeship programme.
The scheme will allow the apprentices to travel around the UK as Truman and Hall have training centres in Norwich, Devon and Essex, all of which will feature in the programme.
Communication skills and height confidence coupled with enthusiasm and ambition are the most required attributes. There also needs to be trust within the team, as the course teaches how to rescue one another from the tower.
Standing at the top of a tower in an emergency, a clear head and the ability to make a safe decision are paramount, and the apprentices will learn how to teach this.
They will be supported by a team of experienced and qualified trainers like Paul Vanstone, training centre manager at Manston, who always put safety first.
Standing at the top of the tower, fully harnessed, you are safer than being in a car, says Mr Yeomans.
Taking a deep breath, and saying a mental prayer, I hoped he was right as I veered over the edge of the tower. Looking down, it seemed a long way, but as I glided to the ground, the adrenalin kicked in, and the distance didn't seem long enough.
To find out more about the apprentice trainer scheme with Truman and Hall Safety, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org