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10th October 2019

graham weights: welcoming ainscough’s next generation of apprentices

staff members

This time of year is hugely important for many people in education, with new academic years and courses starting for people across a range of fields and disciplines.

That’s no different here at Ainscough Crane Hire, and we were proud to recently welcome our latest intake of apprentices. Here, Graham Weights, service support manager, discusses what the years ahead hold for the new additions to the UK’s leading lifting solutions company.

I’m proud to say I’ve been at Ainscough Crane Hire for nearly twenty years. I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to succeed within the business, and it’s an absolute privilege for me to help guide our newest recruits towards developing a fantastic and rewarding career here.

We recently held the induction for the class of 2019, all of whom are training to be crane mechanics. Our new recruits will be working at depots across the country, but their journey begins at the same place – our site in Leyland. Seeing young people from all across the country start their careers with us in one place really illustrates the reach that Ainscough has, and how we impact on people’s lives across the UK.

Our apprenticeship scheme is delivered in partnership with Myerscough College in Preston and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Over the past decade, it has trained over 40 apprentices and we’re committed to continually growing that figure.

Apprentices are trained over a four-year period, achieving Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Plant Maintenance, delivered in training blocks which are based at the college’s £4.4m Engineering Centre, home to its Construction Plant Academy. We have a mobile crane permanently based at the college in order to enhance the apprentices’ learning experience.

Our apprentice training programme is vital to us for numerous reasons. As a company, we operate in a niche market and it is our responsibility to develop and nurture a workforce that can deliver the complex lifts that our clients across a wide range of industries require. We also feel a duty to the locations in which we are based, and appreciate the importance of helping local people develop lasting and rewarding careers.

There are numerous ways that people find out about our apprenticeship scheme – it’s promoted through various recruitment networks run by the college and CITB, and we also encourage current staff to let their friends and family know about the opportunities we have on offer.

During the induction sessions at Leyland, we try to paint a picture of what it means to work for Ainscough, and what we stand for. Therefore we take them through MAST (Mandatory Ainscough Safety Training), Make the Safe Choice and various housekeeping rules to give them a good grounding in what is expected of them.

Following that, the apprentices then spend two weeks at Myerscough College. Those who have travelled from around the country will also stay in the college’s halls of residence while training. During the first two weeks at college, they will gain a further understanding of the basics of the engineering work they will be learning. This puts them in a good position when they return to depots to start learning in a real-life environment.

The depots are also where the wider team come in to play. It says a lot about the team we have at Ainscough that so many of my colleagues go above and beyond what is needed in order to show our apprentices the ropes – this is important not just for their individual development but for the future success of the company. By sharing their skills and imparting their knowledge to the next generation, they are helping to ensure Ainscough continues to be sustainable and a market leader for many years to come.

The standard of apprentice we have coming through the ranks seems to improve year on year, and I’ve no doubt this year’s group will continue that trend. Every member of the Ainscough team across our depots and out on project sites will do what we can to ensure they reach their aim of being a qualified engineer and a vital member of the Ainscough team for many years ahead.

My message to the new recruits is this: there will be challenges ahead, but we will do all we can to support you. Stay focussed on your goal, work hard and – importantly – enjoy it!

If you’d like to find out more about becoming an apprentice at Ainscough, please visit

From left to right; Daniel Stagg, Support engineer – National service centre. Apprentices, Reece Barclay- Falkirk depot, Jason Carr- West London depot, Thomas Hillman, Bristol depot, Charlie Kett, Leyland depot and Oliver Clynch, Stockton depot.

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