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F-TEC Apprenticeships – Kridan Handling Ltd Case Study

F-TEC have been offering apprenticeships for nearly a decade, developing the next generation of forklift and powered access engineers.

We caught up with two former apprentices, Mike and Harvey, who completed their F-TEC apprenticeships through their employer, Kridan Handling Ltd, to find out more about their experiences.

Mike, who completed his apprenticeship in 2019, the same year he was awarded Apprentice of the Year, says, “I went to Kridan on work experience when I was 15 and have been there ever since. At school, I found that I was more of a visual learner. I enjoyed the academic side too but was more likely to understand what I was being taught if I could see someone do it first. I worked with my dad in a garage working on cars, and did a bit of racing, so I had a good understanding about engineering and found it interesting. I enjoy building and fixing things as it gives me a sense of achievement, so an engineering apprenticeship was perfect for me.”

Harvey, who recently completed his apprenticeship, says,“I had planned to go to University but I noticed that my friends who went to University had no money and ended up in to jobs that were completely unrelated to their degrees. This made me decide to take the sensible option and to do an apprenticeship instead. I liked the idea of learning on the job and found it to be far more rewarding. I liked the tangible side of it, being able to see my progress when putting my learning into practice. I had a good understanding of bikes so found engineering the natural progression.”

Both Mike and Harvey found being an F-TEC Apprentice was worthwhile. Mike says, “It was a good mixture of theory and practical learning, finding the reasoning behind why you are doing something and I liked the targeted learning.”

“Seeing it in real life is the best way to learn and makes it easier to relate it back to the workplace.” adds Harvey.

They found the structure of the course at F-TEC helpful. At the beginning of the week, they would be told what they would be doing that week, in block work, with practical and theoretical training. At the end of the week they would be tested to see what they had learnt so far. They particularly liked this as it was used to identify areas for improvement and if you didn’t know the answers, the trainers would focus on these parts with the specific people to help them to learn it.

They would recommend an F-TEC engineering apprenticeship to another young person who is hands-on and likes practical learning. They believe the course is useful not just for engineers but also for those who want to go into sales or parts as understanding how the equipment works makes it easier to sell it.

Dan Wilkinson, Director at Kridan Handling Ltd, explains why he takes on apprentices. “I was an apprentice, my dad was an apprentice and I truly believe in its ability to form the best engineers within our industry.  I’m also more than aware in my role today that the lack of skilled engineers within our industry is one of the biggest challenges it faces now, I see no reason why we all shouldn’t be pushing apprenticeships more.

Both Mike and Harvey are now using their skills at Kridan and enjoying the work that they do, having been given an opportunity to learn on-the-job with an F-TEC Apprenticeship.

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