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Forklift driver shortage causes concern

A training provider has highlighted a shortage of forklift truck drivers - saying it is as big a problem for the logistics industry as the more publicised issue of a scarcity of lorry drivers.

Steve Dulson, of Dulson Training, said the shortage meant many warehouses across the country were unable to operate efficiently, putting even more pressure on the nation’s supply chain.

Dulson Training delivers a range of training offerings at its centres in Shrewsbury, Telford, Ludlow and Wrexham and at its recently opened site between Telford and Gailey that caters for Telford and Wolverhampton. The company also provides training at customer locations anywhere in the UK.

“There is a big shortage of forklift truck drivers, much like the case with HGVs so the entire logistics industry is suffering from just about every angle at the moment," said Mr Dulson.

“The forklift truck driver shortage is just as big a problem. It is hitting the productivity and efficiency of warehouses and storage facilities all over the country which in turn means delays in getting goods out, producing an even greater strain on the supply chain nationally.

“We are running fully-accredited RTITB programmes every week to deliver training and qualifications on all the major forklift types. This training is delivered at our centre at Roden near Telford where we have classrooms and all the facilities necessary for theory and practical preparation and examinations.

“The centre has been really busy which is a more positive sign that people are looking at forklift truck driving as a career - which can only be good for the industry.

"We have delivered to customers across the county and beyond and it has also meant that we have been able to help numerous job seekers gain the qualification to enable greater opportunities in work placements, while ensuring all operators meet the highest standards and are able to keep themselves and everyone else in the workplace safe.”

Mr Dulson said Dulson Training also provided off-site training throughout Shropshire, the West Midlands, Wales and further afield at customer premises on a variety of forklift trucks.

Andrei Ciontoiu, RTITB MHE instructor at Dulson Training, said: “It is fantastic to help people achieve their goals. I have met so many people who all have their own unique situation or reasons for completing the course. Gaining the qualification can mean new employment opportunities and a complete change to someone's life circumstances.” 

One of Andrei and Dulson Training’s success stories has been James Pagan who is on the autistic spectrum. James passed his novice counterbalance course with flying colours.

His mum Jeanette said: “James has had such a boost of confidence with the course and Andrei needs special recognition for the way he taught him. James is on the autistic spectrum which means he has difficulties especially with socialising and communication.

“Andrei listened to what I had to say with regards to James and how he has anxiety and can get frustrated very easily. Because of the way he handled James, by the end of the course James was actually making conversation, laughing and joking, and had improved his self esteem. I couldn't have been happier or more proud - with the icing on the cake being James passing the course with 99% no less, it was brilliant!”

Mr Dulson added: “ANTA Education has partnered with Dulson Training to help job seekers access free forklift training to help them into work. Over the past 12 months, together we have supported more than 60 novice drivers including James to gain their counterbalance FLT licence to help them into work

“Some of the major forklift categories we are teaching on are the Industrial CounterBalance, the Reach Truck, the Powered Pallet Truck, Low-Level Order Picker, Telescopic Handler, Very Narrow Aisle and Pivot Steer.

“We have a number of instructors delivering training and qualifications and are also able to offer Yard Shunter, Banksman, Moffett Training and Lorry-Mounted Crane - also known as HIAB training.”

Pictured: James Pagan