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Industry leaders join forces to deliver a national apprenticeship scheme

01 April 2014

Two of the fork lift truck industry’s leading trade associations have announced plans for a single apprenticeship scheme to cover the whole of the UK.


The scheme will be delivered via a new company formed between BITA (British Industrial Truck Association) and the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association).      


Making the announcement, BITA president David Rowell said: "This is a very significant development for our industry which faces a serious skills gap as older, experienced engineers retire.  Fresh talent must be recruited as a matter of urgency and this new consolidated scheme will enable us to present a powerful and persuasive message to young people while demonstrating to the industry at large the long term and proven commercial benefits of developing their own engineers.”


Emphasising the advantages to all concerned, FLTA chairman Geoff Martin added: "Both our associations have been running highly successful apprenticeship schemes for a number of years and have introduced hundreds of new engineers into the materials handling sector.  However, we believe this new venture, involving training centres throughout the country, will see a step change in levels of recruitment.  The timing itself is crucial because we want to attract high calibre young people who, even now, are considering their education and career options.”


This apprenticeship scheme is not the first joint venture for the two associations. Ten years ago, BITA and the FLTA joined forces to establish the materials handling industry’s own accredited scheme for Thorough Examination. By establishing and delivering a single, uniformly high standard throughout the UK, the CFTS scheme has proved a success with more than 400 companies now accredited.