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Leeds apprentice top of the PODP

Luke Fairhurst

Luke Fairhurst among first in country to qualify on Tarmac Professional Operator Development Programme 

A 27-year-old from Pontefract has become one of the first apprentices in the country to complete an industry-leading education programme in quarrying and is now urging others to consider getting qualified in the construction industry.

Luke Fairhurst joined Tarmac in 2018 and came top of the class in the new Professional Operator Development Programme (PODP) – a vocational qualification in mobile and static operations.


The qualification enhanced Luke’s professional understanding of the industry, the equipment and important safety practices, including risk assessments and the best ways to maintain plant and equipment – helping him in his role at one of Yorkshire’s largest asphalt and concrete plants.

Mr Fairhurst (pictured) said: ‘I’m really proud to be one of the first in the country to get this new qualification. A lot of people might not be aware of the work that the quarrying and extractives industry does, as it’s often behind the scenes.

‘It’s great to be part of creating the built environment of the future and having the support to learn and progress in a rewarding career along the way, and I’d encourage anyone interested to explore the opportunities available.’

Lee Mitchell, production manager and Luke’s line manager, said: ‘Everyone at Cross Green is really proud of Luke for this achievement and it’s great to see him developing his skills in a role he is passionate about.’

The POPD qualification is an element of Tarmac’s wide range of professional development and training initiatives – irrespective of age – aimed at creating a highly skilled workforce to support the delivery of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions.


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