Author Archives:F-TEC

Upskilling is the future

ThumbInspectionWith skilled fork lift engineers retiring faster than new ones are recruited there is an acute skills shortage.

Sure, you could poach someone else’s staff – but the chances are they’ll simply move on: selling their skills to the highest bidder. You could train an apprentice and, by doing so, you’ll benefit from someone who’ll be more loyal, less likely to leave and a better advocate for your business.

But what about now? How do you fill an immediate and critical hole in your operations?

Well, you could do what some smart employers are doing and work with the lift truck industry’s only accredited training centre, F-TEC to upskill promising candidates.

“In simple terms, we take a promising individual and give them a set of real-world engineering skills to a level that makes them productive profit-earners.  It could mean developing one of your own staff: a labourer, yard man, someone in the parts department perhaps” explains Karl Baum, Managing Director of F-TEC.

“Alternatively, we can upskill an individual from another industry such as transport or agriculture giving them the vital knowledge and techniques necessary to work on fork lift-specific areas such as hydraulics.

“It’s been tried before but invariably it involved pitching someone in at the deep end in the hope they’d “pick it up as they go”. At best this was a slow and haphazard process that usually ended in frustration and failure…”

By contrast, F-TEC courses provide a proven, fast-track means of giving candidates the knowledge and skills required to make them immediately productive… and profitable. Small wonder that some of the biggest names in the industry (as well as some of the smallest) have seized on this as a transformative route to solving engineer recruitment issues – in tandem with F-TEC led apprenticeship schemes.

“Because F-TEC was created by the industry for the industry with the backing of both BITA and the FLTA, we understand what’s really needed. We are happy to provide confidential and obligation-free guidance on all your technical training needs – including upskilling – just give me a call on 01494 334791.”

If you’d like to know more about apprenticeships, or Service Engineer Development Courses, please call 01793 686182 or email karl.baum@f-tec.org.uk

F-TEC is hiring!

An administrative position will soon open in the F-TEC office. If you are an experienced office professional, with good organisational skills, you could be just who we’re looking for…

Requirements:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Professional telephone manner
  • Experience of working in a busy office environment
  • A good understanding of Microsoft Office products
  • Excellent typing skills and good grammar
  • Confident multi-tasking
  • Self-management abilities

Responsibilities will include:

  • Answer telephone/email and deal with enquiries
  • Type letters, quotes etc
  • Maintain filing system
  • Input purchase invoices
  • Update Excel spreadsheets
  • Diary management
  • Ad-hoc duties

Salary: TBA

To enquire further, or to apply for the position, please contact the F-TEC office.

Engineer 2.0 – taking service to the next level

classIt’s an old saying that a salesperson may sell the first fork lift… but it’s the service engineer who sells the second… third… and fourth. Indeed, the individual who cares for the machine is often the one who’s left to care for the customer – usually with no formal training in the legal and interpersonal aspects of this vital role.

But, help is at hand: from the fork lift truck industry’s own technical training centre, F-TEC.

According to Managing Director Karl Baum, “Like many other sectors, our industry invests heavily in ensuring service staff achieve the appropriate practical skills. However, few employers arm their front-line service staff with the legal knowledge and interpersonal skills necessary to retain business, generate future sales and protect that employers’ interests.

“At F-TEC, we have developed a course that specifically addresses this issue: Customer Service Training for Service Engineers. It takes service engineers to the next level, turning them into ambassadors.

“On the legal front it was once a case of ‘buyer beware’, but a series of Acts introduced to protect consumers has changed all that. There are many legal avenues a customer can pursue if, for example, they believe a product is not fit for purpose. The F-TEC course covers eight different pieces of legislation to ensure service engineers are fully aware of the legal implications arising from their conversations with customers.

“Alongside that we teach the ‘soft skills’ which transform day-to-day contacts with customers. We talk about ‘customer touchpoints’ which occur every time a customer meets your company. These influence his or her perception of all you are and do. Your frontline employees – especially service engineers – are responsible for the majority of ‘touchpoints’. By investing in their communication skills you are investing directly in the customer experience.

“The course teaches techniques for making customers feel appreciated. In a competitive marketplace simply doing a good job is not good enough. Customers want to be valued, respected and feel that your company truly cares. This needs to be clearly expressed – by your engineers.

“The course addresses the core problem: how can you help your customers measure the quality, value-for-money or even the benefit of a service or inspection? The answer is that it’s all down to your engineer and how s/he communicates the features and benefits of the work carried out that makes the difference.”

He concludes: “Positive engagements with your customers adds real value to their experience… opening the door to future business…”

The next Customer Service Training for Service Engineers course takes place on 12th and 13th December 2017. To find out more or make a booking please call F-TEC on 01793 686182 or email karl.baum@f-tec.org.uk.

F-TEC confirmed as one-stop shop for forklift apprentices

There’s good news for companies of every size that are thinking of taking on a fork lift truck engineering apprentice…

Less than a year since it was established, F-TEC has been accepted onto the new, full, Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), which is administered by the Skills Funding Agency.

As a result, F-TEC is authorised to provide training for all fork lift truck apprentices – including those under the new levy scheme.

“From the outset, our aim has been to make life as stimulating and rewarding as possible for trainee engineers… and as straightforward and effective as possible for employers,” explains Managing Director Karl Baum.

“Gaining a place on the RoATP means businesses no longer need to look around for different training providers. They can be certain that F-TEC will deliver on all fronts.

“Moreover, because T-TEC was established by the industry, for the industry, means employers can talk to someone who understands the sector, speaks plain English and can guide them seamlessly through all the procedures – including the new levy process.

“We realise that there is still some confusion over the future of apprenticeship schemes but, put simply, if you have a wage bill in excess of £3m you will already have started contributing towards the levy.

“Therefore, it’s important to ensure you benefit from those payments by setting up training programmes to draw down funding in the allowable timeframe. We are already helping a number of major players in the industry to do just that.

“If, like the vast majority of employers, you aren’t eligible to pay the levy, you will continue, to receive existing levels of government support. F-TEC can advise on what funding is available and how to claim it.”

To gain a place on the RoATP, F-TEC had to undergo a rigorous due diligence process and demonstrate exceptional facilities, close involvement with employers and high skills levels among trainers, ensuring the organisation was fit to deliver the quality of training demanded by the government and employers under the levy scheme.

Evidence at street level that this is being achieved is provided by the 98% success rate among trainees and the 100% positive feedback scores from apprentices.

If you’d like to know more about apprenticeships, the levy or Service Engineer Development Courses, please call 01793 686182 or email karl.baum@f-tec.org.uk

Fork Lift Truck Association endorses F-TEC

FLTA logoThe Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has given a ringing endorsement to F-TEC.

Peter Harvey, Chief Executive of the FLTA, said: “By any measure, F-TEC has proved a huge success and continues to surpass expectations. Apprentices already on FLTA courses have transferred seamlessly from colleges to F-TEC and all have given really positive feedback on the courses and the way they are taught – resulting in 100% satisfaction ratings in feedback questionnaires.

“Similarly, F-TEC has successfully incorporated our programme of nineteen different short courses for engineers, covering everything from electronics to LPG fuel systems, hydraulics to Thorough Examination, delivering them using state-of-the-art facilities in Swindon. Importantly, these courses are reviewed typically twice a year to ensure they meet the precise and changing needs of our industry.”

Since opening its doors, F-TEC has increased the number of apprentices joining its courses by introducing an additional intake that is not restricted to the academic year. The success rate among apprentices is a very impressive 95%.

Peter continued: “Our members, who represent everyone from small independent dealerships to multinational manufacturers of fork lifts such as Linde and Crown, have been overwhelming in their praise – with a growing number asking F-TEC to deliver bespoke training programmes to meet their specific requirements.

“F-TEC has certainly hit the ground running and is playing a key role in bringing through the quality and quantity of engineers we will need to overcome the skills gap created by an ageing and retiring work-force.”

Toyota apprentices wanted!

TMHDo you have a passion for engineering? Are you interested to join one of the world’s leading manufacturers of materials handling equipment?

F-TEC is looking for 10 apprentices, from across the UK, to join the Toyota Material Handling forklift engineering team.

This 3 year programme combines classroom and workshop learning to help you learn the basics of engineering, mechanics and hydraulics: a great start to a rewarding career in forklift engineering.

Apprenticeship positions are available in the following places. Please click on the location you are interested in for further information, and to apply:

  1. Castleford
  2. Wigan
  3. Pontefract
  4. Hatfield
  5. Northampton
  6. Warrington
  7. Melton Mowbray
  8. Stoke on Trent
  9. Bridgwater
  10. East Kilbridge, Scotland

The closing date for applications is 20th April, 2017.

F-TEC launches at IMHX

F-TEC Training centre attracts huge interest and hosts nail-biting quiz

IMHX_fTEC-3862Having opened its doors to apprentices in July of this year, the fork lift industry’s first dedicated training centre – F-TEC – chose IMHX for its public launch and was “astonished” at the response.

Quickly establishing itself as a focal point of the Future Skills Zone, F-TEC attracted a constant flow of visitors representing manufacturers and dealerships from across the industry.

“We were delighted by the level of interest and the quality of the enquiries, including blue-chip companies” explains Karl Baum, Managing Director of F-TEC. There was a great deal of interest in the apprentice programme from companies of all sizes who wanted to discuss the practicalities of taking on a trainee and from others who wanted more information and dates for the engineers courses. One major player has asked us to design a bespoke training programme for all its engineers.

“It was also great to hear a large number of extremely positive comments from companies pointed in our direction by the FLTA and BITA.  They just wanted to congratulate us on establishing the industry’s first dedicated training centre… something that many felt was long overdue.

“We also hosted a visit from the Mayor of Solihull who was very interested in the programmes we are offering.”

One of the highlights of the week in the Future Skills Presentation Theatre was the

BIG Fork Lift Truck Quiz, hosted by F-TEC, which saw Linde and Toyota Materials Handling apprentices going head-to-head answQuizering 20 questions each against the clock. Both teams showed outstanding knowledge and professionalism, and after a close contest, Team Linde won by five points. Fittingly, the prize was presented by David Rowell who, in histime as President of BITA played a pivotal role in the formation of the new centre.

“Attending IMHX was a success in every possible sense” concludes Karl Baum.  “It gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase what we are doing – and how we are doing it – whilst allowing those of us working for F-TEC to see many client companies and a vast array of new equipment that will ultimately require engineers’ courses.

 

For more information on fork lift truck apprenticeships please contact F-TEC on 01793 686182 or email info@ftec.org.uk, and for information on engineer training courses please contact the FLTA on 01635 277577 or email nanette@fork-truck.org.uk.

SHD – FOR THE INDUSTRY, BY THE INDUSTRY

SHD magazine recently interviewed Managing Director of F-TEC, Karl Baum about the significance and success of creating a dedicated forklift engineer training centre.

Click here to read

It’s now less than 2 weeks before IMHX, you can visit F-TEC at SK6

F-TEC puts the focus on forklift engineer training and apprenticeships at IMHX

Whether you’re looking to take on apprentices or becoming an apprentice, then the F-TEC (the Forklift Training Engineering Centre) stand should be your first port of call at IMHX.

Based in the Skills and Logistics Zone (SK6), F-TEC is the UK’s first training centre dedicated specifically to the training of fork lift truck engineers and apprentices.

Karl Baum a Director of the Centre explains: “F-TEC has been created by the industry for the industry and puts training and apprenticeships firmly in the hands of the people who know exactly what is required.”

“It is the industry’s most significant development since the formation of CFTS by the Fork Lift Truck Associations (FLTA) and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) more than a decade ago and further demonstrates the close relationship between its founding partners.”

Karl and his team will be on hand throughout IMHX and they are hoping to meet with companies thinking about taking on an apprentice. The new F-TEC programme will be headed up by Kevin Michel, a figure well known and respected by students and client companies alike.

He says: “Taking on an apprentice is – without a doubt – an investment in the future since trained engineers are leaving the industry – largely through retirement – faster than they are being replaced.

“We will be available to discuss all aspects of taking such a step, explaining the practicalities, as well as the proven rewards that training your own can deliver, including loyalty and raised productivity.”

In July, F-TEC’s Swindon training centre opened its doors to apprentices, as well as mature engineers looking to enhance their skills with basic, intermediate and advanced engineering courses.

The 5,000 square foot facility features lecture theatres and a workshop area which allows apprentices to gain practical experience across a broad range of forklift brands and model types.

Karl adds: “While we’re keen to meet potential employers and engineers, we’re equally keen to meet young people considering careers in fork lift truck engineering, along with their parents.”

For more information about F-TEC visit stand SK6 in the IMHX Skills and Logistics Zone or visit www.ftec.org.uk.

Raising the Bar with Training (Alder King)

Alder King are delighted to have concluded lease negotiations with F-TEC Ltd to provide a new centre of excellence for fork lift truck engineering and apprenticeships.  Unit 17 Ash is an end terraced light industrial unit situated within the mature and established Kembrey Park to the north of Swindon.  The property extends to circa 4,600 sq ft and has been let by way of a new 5 year lease agreement.

Speaking on behalf of the landlords, Martin Baker of Alder King commented: “I am delighted to have been able to conclude this transaction with F-TEC Ltd and wish them every success with their continued expansion plans.  I am sure that they will be a welcome addition to the park.”

Karl Baum of F-TEC Ltd commented: “After a long search of the Swindon property market, we inspected Unit 17 and knew that it was not only the right unit for our business but also the type of business park environment that we felt would portray the right image for our business moving forward.”

The Ash units at Kembrey Park continue to prove to be attractive to occupiers as they have done for circa 30 years.  The well maintained estate is home to a number of local, regional and national occupiers.

For further information, please contact F-TEC Ltd at karlbaum@f-tec.org.uk or 01793 686182, or Alder King on 01793 615477, or Kembrey Park at kembreypark.co.uk.

Ends

For press enquiries contact: Sarah King, 0117 317 1025, sking@alderking.com