Home » ECITB’s drone training course takes off

ECITB’s drone training course takes off

by Sion Geschwindt
ECITB's drone training course

Following the success of a pilot programme in 2022, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has launched an industry-first training course for operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in industrial environments.

The use of drones across industry is growing rapidly due to the safety and efficiency benefits they provide, and their ability to help map, track and survey major construction and infrastructure projects.  d

Global professional services firm, PwC, estimates there could be £3.5bn predicted cost savings from drone uptake in the construction and manufacturing sectors alone.

Yet, until now, no consistent training existed for operators to use these within an industrial setting.

The ECITB looks to change that with its new Foundation UAS training course, created in close collaboration with the UK Drone Association, ARPAS-UK.

Andy Brown, Interim CEO at the ECITB, explained: “There is real demand across industry for operators who can not only pilot drones but who possess the specific and essential knowledge and skills to carry out drone operations effectively in industrial settings.

“Collaboration has been the key to getting this off the ground. Through the effective collaboration with employers, training providers and learners, we have developed this quality assured training to provide a consistent quality standard for all industrial drone operators. 

“It will directly tackle the skills gap, support employers to train and upskill their workforce and meet that identified need across industry.”

Amanda Smith, Sellafield UAV Equipment Programme Lead, who uses drones to help manage the former nuclear site, commented: “UAVs are used on a regular basis at Sellafield to inspect our assets such as roofs, building cladding, ventilation ductwork and pipe bridges. 

“By using UAVs we have removed people from harm (people do not have to work at height on scaffold or mobile elevating work platforms as much), reduced down time on plants and cost avoided millions of pounds by not having to build scaffolds.

“This course is very relevant to the work we are doing at Sellafield using UAVs.  Having an industry wide standard that I can look for on a CV will give me more confidence that those applying for a job have training that is relevant.  It provides UAV pilots with industry experience which is vital when working on a highly regulated nuclear site.”

Read next: Munich-based startup Kewazo secures $10m for robotic lift system

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