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Tata Chemicals Europe wins the UK's national training award

A scheme to train Tata Chemicals Europe's next generation of riggers has picked up a national award.

The Cheshire-based company's rigger development programme was crowned 'Best Training Initiative' at the Glass Charter awards, which recognise safety initiatives in the UK glass industry.
As part of the three-year programme, trainee riggers are taught the principles of general lifting and slinging, winching, crane operation and rigging practices, alongside developing their skills by gaining practical experience on site.

Launched in 2007, the programme has accepted five trainees to date. Two trainees — Paul Adderley and Chris Sandiford — have already successfully completed the scheme.

The core training is given by an accredited specialist provider, Lloyds British, with support and mentoring from more experienced riggers at Tata Chemicals Europe. Regular practical assessments are carried out and trainees must pass a formal exam at the end of the course as well as produce a portfolio of their work.

Vicky Gibbons, training and development manager, Tata Chemicals Europe, said: "We had identified that rigging was at risk of becoming a lost skill and realised that we needed to do something to ensure we had riggers with the right skills and approach to safety working for us before our more experienced employees retire.

"We have been extremely lucky to recruit some fantastically enthusiastic trainees and our more experienced employees have been extremely proactive in sharing their skills and knowledge with a younger generation. In investing in this training initiative, we have both ensured that the company's future needs are met and provided an opportunity for young people in the local area to learn new skills."

Phil Hobday, trainer and assessor, Lloyds British Training, said: "Having been with Paul and Chris from the start of the programme, I have been extremely impressed at the effort they have put into their training. It is particularly pleasing that both place such a strong emphasis on ensuring proper safety procedures are followed whenever lifting is being carried out on site."

Tata Chemicals Europe is currently working with a Bolton-based provider to gain formal accreditation for the scheme by enabling the riggers who have completed the programme to work towards achieving their NVQ Level 3 in moving loads.

Gibbons continued: "The training programme has done a great deal to raise the profile of rigging within the organisation and a formal accreditation will give the riggers external recognition of the skills, as well as bringing additional credibility to our training programme."

Staff from Tata Chemicals Europe, the UK's only soda ash manufacturer, picked up the Glass charter award at the Annual Glass Industry Health and Safety Conference, held in Stoke-on-Trent earlier this mon