Kat Moss reflects on 1 year anniversary as chair of LEEA, and the highlights so far

Kat Moss reflects on 1 year anniversary as chair of LEEA, and the highlights so far - image

Kat Moss reflects on 1 year anniversary as chair of LEEA, and the highlights so far

Longtime LEEA member, Kat Moss is celebrating her one year anniversary as chair of the association this month, having taken over from Richard Money in January 2022, alongside Oliver Auston of Auston Consulting as vice chair.

Not only did Moss take on the role during a challenging time, following the Covid outbreak, she also has a fulltime job as business development and quality assurance manager at Catena Inspection and Engineering Services, having joined the company 13 years ago. 

As LEEA chair, she is proud to have launched a number of digital online platforms for the association, increasing the number of non-English documents from four to six different languages and will be promoting take up of the Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship standard on February 27.

Looking back on the past year Moss said: “Having joined as chair after the Covid pandemic, it brought forward some of the digital plans I had in my mind for LEEA. It was a good starting point for me as the initiatives I had in mind were a lot easier to put into place. We have more courses online, covering a more diverse expertise, and these are available for our international members as well.

“My tenure as chair covers a two-year period so it will take me up to the end of next year and then after that I'll support the next chairman.

“As a lot of last year was spent around getting the online platforms ready and rolled out internationally, the focus this year is to follow on from that and add more courses and look at introducing other languages. We now have documents translated into four languages with the potential for two others, which is an added bonus alongside our global regional councils. We have expanded into Australia and New Zealand and we are now rolling out the Middle East Council. So that means rather than being a global organisation with a UK directive we are now international focusing on direction from all those individual countries and looking at their own legislations.”

Speaking about the Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship standard, which will transform the way people are brought into the profession, and of which Moss is chair of the Trailblazer Group behind the development, she said it has been a rewarding experience

The apprenticeship, which is rated as a Level 3, which is ‘A’ level equivalent, is based around the needs and expectations of the industry and those going into it. In line with government thinking, this is a decisive move away from the philosophy of ‘old-style’ training, which too often was based around the facilities, staff and other resources that the college or training provider happened to have available, rather than the real training needs of employers and learners. As a result, apprentices often found that a large proportion, up to 70%, of their training was fairly irrelevant, whilst other more important aspects were not covered at all and required further instruction. This was not workable either for employers or learners.

Even though the details of the scheme are specific to England, the apprenticeships are based around a standard which is intended to be of global applicability, and LEEA is already talking to training regulators and providers in Wales and Scotland, where training is a responsibility, as well as Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

“The Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship standard has been and continues to be a very rewarding project, a lot more work involved than I ever thought it would be. We spent a lot of time defining the finesse of what we would expect an engineer to look like and what they would need to learn. Even in the final stages there were more challenges from the apprenticeship bodies. The goal posts kept changing and what we had in mind shifted but now registration is live and available for take up but I’m not sure people realise it's there. So on the 27th of February there's a meeting taking place to get all the stakeholders together and getting the association behind it to promote what we have done.,” she said.

On celebrating International Women's Day on March 8, 2023, Moss insisted the industry is not as male dominated as people might expect.

“There are a lot of unsung heroes in this profession and maybe women working in this industry who don’t realise just what an important job they are doing. It would be good if those people came forward and said, you know, I'm working in this industry, you don't need to be a lifting equipment engineer to be involved in this sector. It doesn't matter if you're working in a non hands-on job. If you're there and you're a woman, I'd love it if those people could be recognised,” said Moss.

“I know it's a big deal that I am the first female chair at LEEA, but in 2023, we shouldn’t be having these conversations about gender. Hopefully that will change and the focus needs to be more on is this the right person doing this job at the right time. Someone actually asked me the other day how many female engineers are there in this industry but I don’t actually know and it would be good to get the metrics on that.”

Check out the new video series, entitled ‘Be My Guest…' with Kat Moss on the LEEA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66bZfdg7MTA


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