Getting your forklift licence to work in the UK is the better way to improve your chances of getting hired. It also ensures that you underwent forklift training making you competent to drive forklift safely. In this section of the website, we have provided you, licence seekers, helpful information about forklift training and licensing.
What is Your Future as Forklift Driver in UK
You can see a better future in becoming a forklift driver. There’s a much demand for your skill in this country. In the UK, forklift operator can make an hourly average wage £7.73. An operator salary a year ranges from£15,000 to £17,000, if you more experience, the employer can offer as much as £17,000 to £26,500.
You would usually work for 45 hours per week, sometimes during at night shifts. When production is in full swing, you can normally expect an additional overtime work. The nature of work of a forklift operator is primarily in the warehouse, port, construction sites, or airports.
Why Is Forklift Licence Important?
When you have a forklift licence ready in your wallet you can easily present that to your potential employer. It is your ticket for a long-term rewarding and fulfilling career. Having a licence makes you more secure in your career.
Employers look for candidates with a readied licence because it lessens cost-cutting measures, they do not have to send their operator to training schools increasing work efficiency, productivity and company profit. Aside from the fact, it reduces the probability of forklift-related accidents.
Getting licenced to drive forklift does create a big difference!
Getting Your Forklift Licence
1. Identify the skills you have and the forklift you would like to operate
Training course should be specific to your ability and type of truck you want to drive. Once you’ve specified your requirements, you can use that to make enquiry with a training centre.
2. Contact a Training Centre
The best place to get training from is in the training centre, they have complete facilities, state of the art equipment and qualified instructor to supply you the much-needed training.
3. Attending the Classroom Lecture
Once enrolled, you will be attending a classroom discussion. This will take up much of the time. At the end of the lecture, you are to be given a written test to measure how well you performed during the lecture.
4. Completing the Forklift Practical Test
This test will determine your future. This is the actual driving of the truck. The instructor will give you instructions that you need to follow. If you satisfied the trainer and he’s happy with your performance, he will give you a thumb’s up.
5. Receiving Your Certificate
At the end of the training course, trainees who have passed the written test and practical training test will receive his certificate. This document is your proof of competency. You can show that to your present or prospective employer.
Forklift Training Accrediting Bodies
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), being the regulatory authority in UK, set forth forklift training standards to follow. The HSE acknowledges only these six (6) accrediting companies, namely:
- Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT) - www.aitt.co.uk
- Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) - www.itssar.org.uk
- Lantra Awards - www.lantra-awards.co.uk
- National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd - www.npors.com
- Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) Ltd - www.rtitb.co.uk
- Construction Industry Training Board, (CITB) – www.constructionskills.co.uk.
These accrediting bodies have created their own training syllabus. They accredit training providers such as companies/schools, individuals who want to become qualified instructors or an employer’s training scheme.
Identifying the skills you already have will determine the training course you need to get
Novice Training – as the name suggests, this course is proposed for an absolute beginner, for those who have no knowledge driving lift truck. It is meant to deliver the basic skills to operate forklifts and capability to perform work with efficiency and safety.
Because the trainees have no prior knowledge, this course is more thorough and it takes a longer time to finish the course and because it takes longer time, it is more expensive as well compare to other training courses. It takes about three to six days to complete and may cost you around £650 to pay for the course.
Semi-Experienced Training/Untested Forklift Operator Training– This course is for those individuals who know how to drive forklifts but have not taken any formal training in the past. It will cost you between £200 - £350 to take up this training and could last up to three days.
Conversion Course – wanting to expand your ability driving other kinds of trucks you are not familiar with, then, conversion course is the one you need. The cost to complete this course ranges from £200 and £350. You only need a day to take and finish the whole course.
Refresher Course - are for trainees who want to get updated about present HSE regulations and safety best practices. This course is being supplied in certain circumstances as well such as when operators were seen driving the truck in a very unsafe manner that jeopardizes their safety and when they were engaged in an accident. Refreshers are also given once every three years to make the operators’ knowledge current.
Job Requirements of Forklift Operator
When you received your forklift licence, and you off to get a job, it is better to have a clear idea what would be your requirements in order to prepare for it and get accepted. In order to become a forklift operator, you need to have/be:
- Physically robust and fit because operating forklifts demands strength and effort
- An aptitude to follow supervisor’s verbal and written instructions
- Awareness that safety is #1 concern. Always bear in mind that your safety and the people around you are in your hands.
- A mature mind and mentality – driving forklifts is no joke, it should be driven responsibly and work should be finished professionally.
- Basic math skills to make load calculation and estimate lifting height and covered distances
- Able to work proficiently during production full swing.
Forklift Licence Cost
The cost of the forklift licence and the length of the training depending on the type of forklift you want to be trained to. It will also depend on your skill level. Novice operators tends to have a longer training course that ranges from 3 to 5 days. If you are an experienced individual it only takes 2 days. For refresher and conversion course, it only lasts a day to complete the course.
The training providers can charge for up to £700.00 for novice individual. While providers have training packages, it is better to avail their package to save a little money. If you are an employer who’s looking for a better option, you can hire a trainer to conduct the training at your site. This is a much better option for you.
Training schools ensure that every individual received much information and skill after the completion of the training. Commonly, the ratio of trainer to the student is 1:3. You are assured to get much education and the quality of the training.