Be my Guest....Dave Thomson

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Be my Guest....Dave Thomson

Dave Thomson joined LEEA in 2012 and is responsible for approximately 72 courses a year both onsite at Huntingdon Training Centre, externally at member companies and online on Zoom. He has a team of three and is also the secretar for the Learning & Development Committee.

Prior to LEEA, Thomson served with The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) which provides engineering support to maintain and repair British Army equipment and served in units across the UK, Germany, Belize, and the Balkans. 

As part of his role now, he looks after the training team, and is in charge of a portfolio of courses including: Foundation, Lifting Accessories, Powered Lifting Machines, Manual Lifting Machines and the Academy online courses and he is a tutor for Mobile Cranes. 

This month he has six courses on the training calendar in Huntingdon and a Zoom course for members in Australia, now part of the newly formed Australia/New Zealand Regional Council. 

“It's all about managing your time, prioritising what we do and how we go about it. But the end goal is towards what the members need,” said Thomson.

“Some courses range from three days to one week, either onsite in Huntingdon or externally where we travel to member sites, whether that's in the UK, Europe or anywhere else in the world. We're quite flexible in what we do and how we deliver our training for members.”

Currently the team is focusing on the new LEEA Academy 2.0 training for students to complete its courses and assessments digitally, providing more flexibility for students and expanding its global reach. 

“The most popular courses at the moment are Lifting Accessories and Manual Lifting Machines because that's what a lot of our members deal with on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. Saying that, we also have Powered Lifting Machines, Overhead Travelling Cranes and Runway and Crane Structures. We run the training in accordance with what our members need and how popular they are at the time,” said Thomson.

“The biggest challenge companies face today is trying to keep their standards up-to-date. Making sure people are competent in the workplace and obviously coming back from COVID we are slowly catching up with everyone, and making sure members are refreshing their skillset to remain competent.”

Thomson added that since joining LEEA over 10 years ago, things have changed a lot, from using a PowerPoint presentation for training and communicating by post to moving into digital and paperless processes. 

He said COVID was a big learning curve as people were put on furlough during the pandemic but LEEA adapted to member’s needs by organising e-learning and meetings via Zoom.

Now it a case of letting members know that staff are travelling again and going onsite to offer training wherever in the world. LEEA has an in-house Technical Committee, and this helps them to know what standards are coming in or any changes in the law.

“Keeping up-to-date with new technologies is a challenge because things are evolving so quickly. But we have a Technical Committee and attend those meetings. So, for example, if there are any changes post-Brexit we find out first-hand what's going on and pass that information on to members,” he added.

Thomson said one of his most memorable experiences was travelling to Uganda to hold a training workshop with a company there. When they stopped for lunch, they were told to lock all the doors for fear of the monkeys outside coming in and ransacking the room and stealing their food.

Next, he says the team will be rolling out some new training courses, it is developing the MTS Military Transition Scheme, and looking at apprenticeships. This year, LEEA is looking at ways to make the Level 3 Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship standard in England easier to access.

Check out the video here.

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