The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has confirmed that the CPA Stars of the Future 2020 awards programme will still be going ahead.

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, the CPA has decided to continue with the 2020 Stars of the Future programme, in line with the latest government advice regarding the continuation of apprenticeships. However, the physical awards ceremony that was originally scheduled for 10 June 2020 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre will no longer be taking place.

Stars of the Future is a national awards scheme for apprentices and trainees in the construction plant-hire industry, organised by the CPA, a trade association for the plant-hire sector in the UK. The CPA has over 1,700 members who supply 85 per cent of hired plants to the construction industry.

The CPA is currently in the process of considering alternatives to announce the winners of each awards category later this year. All awards categories remain the same, with national and regional awards for Plant Mechanics, Plant Technicians, Lifting Technicians, Plant Operators and Hire Controllers across the UK.

In recognition of the circumstances that employers and training providers find themselves in, the nominations deadline has now been extended to 31 May 2020. Stars of the Future nominations are welcomed from plant-hire companies, manufacturers, contractors, suppliers and others operating in the construction plant sector. Nomination forms are available on the CPA website.

Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA said: “We fully appreciate that it is crucial to maintain the recognition of outstanding apprentices in these challenging times, including as a mark of the support and dedication that their employers have given to each of the nominees.

“Although we are regrettably unable to hold the one day awards ceremony, we are working on devising a suitable alternative means of announcing and awarding trophies and prizes to the various winners. We know the next few months are difficult to predict, but we believe this is the right course of action at the present time and we will keep reviewing it. We look forward to working with our judges, employers and our valuable sponsors in maintaining this prestigious awards programme.”

Stars of the Future is now in its eighth year. There are a number of prizes up for grabs for the winners, with last years Plant Mechanic winners winning Snap-on tool kits and other prizes including an all-expenses paid trip to Germany to visit a Liebherr crane manufacturing plant for the CPA Lifting Technician Star of the Future winner.