North Warwickshire and Hinckley College engineering students are getting hands-on with hydraulics and energised by electrics thanks to Impact, after the company donated a pair of Cat lift trucks to the institution.
Impact, the UK’s sole distributor for Cat Lift Trucks, transferred ownership of the former short-term rental vehicles – a Cat GC30K and EP16KT – to the college to be used in workshop training sessions.
The company also supports the college’s apprenticeship programme by providing placements for nine students at Impact depots around the UK. After successfully completing the three- or four-year course, the apprentices are guaranteed a position with Impact as a Forklift Engineer.
Paul Dancer, Director Learning and Skills: Transport, Logistics and Built Environment at the college, says: “As an institution we’re subject to the tight budgets common in education, so the support of industry stalwarts like Impact means so much to both the college and its students. We’re chuffed to bits.
“The forklifts will be used to support our level two and three Institute of the Motor Industry maintenance and repair courses, offering students a level of hands-on education that simply cannot be beaten. The students will learn how to identify, remove and install components, discover the ‘ins and outs’ of hydraulic and electrical systems, and develop the skills needed to diagnose and fix mechanical problems.”
Eighty trainees studying at the college will have access to the two forklifts, and Dancer insists the practical education opportunities presented by Impact’s donation are essential to ensure the next generation of mechanical engineers has a passion for the materials handling and logistics industries.
“The skills shortage afflicting the materials handling industry is becoming a serious issue, so it’s great to see Impact addressing that imbalance with forward-thinking initiatives like the apprenticeship programme and this kind donation,” he says.
Impact Group Asset Manager Andy Carter says: “We’re very proud of our partnership with the college, and delighted to be providing its apprentices with opportunities to learn and develop, so that the industry as a whole enjoys the benefits of their skills and experience in the years to come.”
Impact is also offering free training to the colleges’ maintenance and repair course lecturers on the finer details of maintaining and operating the new arrivals.
“Investing in our staff means we can offer the very best in education to our students, and Impact’s support is greatly appreciated,” adds Dancer.