Plant is a key sector of the construction industry and one of the few areas where growth is predicted over the next few years

construction worker

Plant is a key sector of the industry, where rigorous standards and training are required to ensure safety when handling heavy machinery.

Plant operators are trained to use a range of different machines, including bulldozers, cranes and excavators. They need to be self-motivated, take great care in their work, and are valued members of the industry.

Plant mechanics make sure that machinery needed on site is working properly and being maintained. They also play an important role by checking that equipment meets the tough demands of the industry and complies with the law.

For more information about plant careers, including salary information and career progression, use our Career Pathways Tool


The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is the largest and most recognised card scheme for the plant industry.

Having a CPCS card helps to prove that a plant operator has the required skills and the health and safety awareness needed to work safely.

Full details about the scheme, including how to apply for a card, are available in our CPCS section.

CPCS are running their annual roadshows in October this year, see the News & Events section within the CPCS pages for more information.

Training Courses

CITB offers a range of training opportunities, whether you are looking to start your plant career or learn new skills to help you progress. 

Training is carried out by the National Construction College, which is the biggest plant training provider in the UK and includes a £10m plant fleet. 

More information on courses is available from our Training and Courses section: 

You can also download our plant course flowchart (PDF, 392 KB) to help you decide on the right training options.


The National Construction College aims to provide the highest standard of training to apprentices, including: 

  • Plant Maintenance
  • Plant Operation – Civil Engineering Plant and Construction Plant
  • Crane Operation
  • Demolition Plant Operation 

Full courses details and entry requirements are available to view on the National Construction College Apprenticeships pages.

Grant Funding

Grant funding is available from CITB to help pay for CPCS technical tests, training and Vocational Qualifications (VQ) 

Full details on the 2016/17 Grants Scheme are available in our Grant section.  

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