The British Industrial Truck Association and the Fork Lift Truck Association have responded to allegations that some private training providers are offering apprenticeships involving little or no work experience and inadequate training, and have reiterated their commitment to developing quality apprenticeships.
This follows a BBC Panorama programme, “The Great Apprentice Scandal” from 2nd April, which alleged that substandard training is misusing government funding and letting down young participants.
The two organisations said that “such an approach, if true, short-changes both the government, which provides funding, and crucially the young people who signed up to an apprenticeship”.
BITA and the FLTA pointed out that forklift truck apprentices sponsored by employers such as Linde, Barloworld and Jungheinrich, receive high-quality vocational training, both on placement and in the classroom, equipping them to pursue a career to management level.
FLTA chairman, Martyn Fletcher, said: “We were deeply saddened by much of what we saw on Panorama. and we hope young people are not put off all apprenticeships as a result.
“An IMI accredited Fork Lift Truck apprenticeship, no matter where in the UK it is delivered, will take a minimum of three years with scope for a further fourth year of advanced training. We, like BITA, are now even talking about a potential fifth year of training.”
Tim Waples, president of BITA, said: “Unlike other business sectors, the forklift industry actively needs to recruit young people and is currently aiming to take on around 200 apprentices a year. The development of the BITA Academy last year is clear evidence of our commitment, as an industry, to training and developing young people. We are keen to highlight the exciting and rewarding job opportunities available for young people in our sector.”