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Axion Consulting’s MRF training services satisfy growing need

Resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting has introduced dedicated training packages for Materials Recycling Facilities managers to fulfill a growing need for expert advice on commissioning and operating multi-million pound waste management plants.

The Manchester-based company developed its unique services following a number of requests to deliver process operator and technical management training for both new and existing MRFs.

Axion Director Keith Freegard explained that recent growth in building new waste facilities had fuelled demand for training in the technical, practical and people-management aspects of operating large-scale and expensive materials sorting plants. Packages are tailored to suit the individual MRF process and feedstock mixture, whether it’s sorting and separating plastics or a residual waste MRF dealing with organic fractions.

He explained: "Very often a fresh group of people are recruited to run a newly-built MRF and this creates two big training needs: firstly how all the equipment works and secondly, getting all the employees to work as a team. So in line with high-quality technical training, we’ve developed methods of encouraging people to work in teams and groups by applying the knowledge they’ve learned to solve hypothetical problems. This then helps them to identify and plug any knowledge gaps."

Keith added: "We’ve created a method of training that gets across the important technical, safety and engineering messages about how a plant works. The way in which we’ve delivered it also really helps with the team-building, problem-solving and working together training styles that people need to be ready to run and manage a plant."

Axion was recently commissioned by M+W High Tech Projects UK to deliver an extensive training package for more than 40 multi-skilled operators, technicians and managers at Biffa’s £100 million MBT facility in West Sussex. Subjects covered during the six-day programme ranged from Health & Safety, disaster planning and ‘real-life’ scenarios to teambuilding activities, culminating in individual assignments and competence assessments.

Axion’s Training Consultant Nichola Mundy said: "They all tried very hard and the application of what they’d learned really shone through. From the positive feedback we received, it was evident that the team felt it had been of great value."

According to Simon Lund, M+W High Tech Projects UK Operations Manager, Axion provided a ‘comprehensive and cost-effective programme’ to the client covering all process aspects.

He commented: "Relevant industry experience was combined with professional presentation skills to deliver a significant piece of work which has been well-received and praised by the client. A mixture of classroom based training, site tours and project work were utilised to assist in retention of the information for the trainees.

"Competence-based assessments were undertaken on the final day involving recap sessions, written exam and project presentations. The trainees are now able to enter the commissioning phase of the project with a thorough understanding of the plant and process," added Simon.

Axion Consulting is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients, from Government agencies and local authorities to companies in diverse commercial sectors, on the practical development of new processing and collection methods to recover value from waste resources.

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