Author Archive F-TEC

Pick of young forklift engineers graduate in style

F-Tec graduate awards

Left to right: Head Trainer F-TEC, Kevin Michel; Benjamin Feehan; Andrew Gay; Christopher Bell; Ashley King and Managing Director of F-TEC, Karl Baum.

The best of Britain’s young forklift service engineers have been honoured in a graduation ceremony hosted by the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) in the magnificent surroundings of Hoar Cross Hall in Burton on Trent.

Four graduates attended the ceremony, representing an inaugural class of eight, all of whom achieved the advanced levels of specialist technical knowledge, understanding and practical skills to gain the Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Automotive Studies for Master Technicians – Lift Truck

The Level 4 course was developed and delivered by F-TEC – the forklift industry’s dedicated engineering training centre – in collaboration with IMI and with input from both manufacturers and dealerships within the forklift truck industry.

Presenting the Awards alongside Simon Barkworth of BITA was F-TEC Head of Training Kevin Michel. “The rewards from completing the course are great for both engineer and employer” he explained “but it is a challenging qualification as it demands high levels of competence from both student and instructor and a willingness to invest in the necessary study. I am particularly proud that every student who embarked on the course made it successfully through to graduation”.

The Level 4 course focuses on advanced diagnostics and is designed to align traditional methods with state-of-the-art technologies. It provides engineers with a far deeper understanding of vehicle systems – enabling them to diagnose problems faster and with greater certainly than using fault codes alone. For the employer that means higher efficiency and profitability – through a far higher hit-rate for “first time fixes”.

In addition to a framed certificate from T-TEC, each of the successful graduates received an added bonus: a cheque for £200 presented by Rob Fisher of Informa. “We are delighted to acknowledge their achievement” explained Fisher, “especially since training will be such a focal point at IMHX 2019 – the largest event for the UK’s logistics industry.”

Summing up, Simon Barkworth added “Alongside our partners in the FLTA, our Association has long been committed to training increasing numbers of apprentices. The introduction of a Level 4 qualification for forklift truck engineers brings us into line with the automotive industry and offers high performing young people the opportunity to advance their careers incrementally.

“The young people on stage today represent the future of our industry. They have the talent to progress into more senior roles, such as sales or technical managers. Level 4 is a vital new milestone in that process.”

To learn how F-TEC’s engineer training can help for your business, visit today.

F-TEC are recruiting!!

Are you an experienced Engineer looking for a new challenge?

Would you like to work for the only industry backed training provider?

If so, this is the vacancy for you!

Due to recent expansions F-TEC are currently recruiting a new trainer, this unique opportunity will allow you to come off the tools and train the Engineers of tomorrow. You will be providing the professional training for the industry at the only industry backed training centre located in Swindon.

This is a great opportunity for an experienced Engineer, who is willing to gain the professional training qualifications, to become an accredited training professional.

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, please call us on: 01793 686182.

F-TEC will be at IMHX 2019

F-TEC brings the focus on forklift engineer training and apprenticeships back to IMHX

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

And because we’re so dedicated to bringing through the new generation of engineers, we’re already planning ahead for our appearance at the 2019 event.

Karl and his team will be on hand throughout IMHX and they are hoping to meet with companies thinking about taking on an apprentice.

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.

The team 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.


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 createdby the industryfor 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 01793 686182.”

If you’d like to know more about apprenticeships, or Service Engineer Development Courses, please call 01793 686182 or email

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…


  • 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

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

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, and for information on engineer training courses please contact the FLTA on 01635 277577 or email