From education to employment


Apprentices at the Harrowbrook Campus of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have benefited from a donation of equipment and tools to help them in their roles as lift truck and powered access technicians.

Each apprentice was presented with a SpanSet harness and lanyard kit for working at height and a Screwfix voucher worth £50 by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) to use in their job roles.

Richard Whiting, UK Market General Manager for IPAF, who presented apprentices with the equipment, was returning to NWSLC to catch up with the apprentices who were among the first in the UK to start the Lift Truck and Powered Access programme following its launch in 2021.

The apprentices work for a variety of businesses including Access Engineering, Versalift, Mainline Group, 1 Up Access, Horizon Platforms, CTE UK Ltd, Speedy Hire, Southern Platforms, GT Access, Sunbelt Rentals, Summit Platforms and Nationwide Platforms. They are developing their skills in the service, repair and maintenance of lift trucks and powered access vehicles widely used in industries including logistics, manufacturing, construction, and engineering. IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide.

Richard Whiting said, “It’s fantastic to see these apprentices progressing so well on their journey to becoming fully qualified engineers specialising in mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). This kind of training is highly specific to our industry and helps to formally recognise existing talent while also attracting new people into a career in powered access. The team at NWSLC are doing a fantastic job in delivering the provision to support this apprenticeship for which there is evidence of growing demand.”

The lift truck and powered access apprenticeship, which leads to a Level 3 qualification, sees apprentices from across the UK attending college for two weeks every ten weeks on a block release basis. Classroom-based theory will be studied at the college’s specialist automotive MIRA Technology Institute Campus with practical workshop sessions taking place at its construction trades Harrowbrook Campus.

Chris Tullin, Assistant Principal Curriculum for 14-16, Workplace and Supported Learning at NWSLC said,

“We are delighted with the progress of our apprentices as part of this new standard which is critically important to the mechanical handling industry and marks a step change in the type and quality of skills delivery that businesses can expect. We are grateful to Richard Whiting from IPAF for his support and the generous donation of equipment to our apprentices.”

The lift truck and powered access apprenticeship is designed for engineers at all stages of their skills development and NWSLC is on hand to help with recruitment to vacancies in this area.

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