The British Industrial Truck Association has launched an initiative to attract new blood into the forklift truck market, through better opportunities and apprenticeships.
It has committed to fund an industry apprentice manager to work with colleges and other trade associations to attract applicants to apprenticeship schemes.
BITA board member Bill Goodwin of Jungheinrich, is heading the initiative, named the Materials Handling Equipment Apprenticeship Scheme.
He said: “Excellent resources are already available in the form of training courses for MHE apprenticeships, for example those offered by North Warwickshire & Hinckley College – including the FLTA’s new Vehicle Maintenance & Repairs (Lift Trucks) course which recently received accreditation – and City of Bristol College; plus other colleges offering engineering courses.
“However, the principal issue for our industry is take-up rates. We need to see significant numbers of apprentices joining our sector to replace retiring employees if we want to reverse our current ageing profile. We believe that BITA can help by creating a management link, which does not currently exist, between the large companies and colleges to ensure that they are well enough informed and properly resourced to offer the most appropriate courses.”