A UK training manager has spent two weeks in Africa raising the teaching standards of forklift truck driving instructors to help ensure newly qualified drivers know how to safely operate the machines.
Melvin England, who works as a Field Training Manager for Mentor Training, was seconded to the National Institute of Training (NIT) in Tanzania to implement a comprehensive education programme as part of his company’s support for international development charity Transaid.
Melvin says: “Forklift trucks can be some of the most dangerous machines, yet a lot of the time operators in Africa have no formal training. By teaching the instructors how best to implement training programmes we are creating a benchmark for which all forklift operators must meet, ensuring they are kept safe when using the machines.”
His work, which forms part of Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project, included teaching the group of 11 forklift instructors how to safely demonstrate machines to their students, as well as how to put together comprehensive lesson plans.
He added: “The dedication of participants to improve their teaching skills was quite breathtaking. Some walked 5km there and back to take part.”
Melvin, whose work represents the first time Mentor Training has been involved in a Transaid initiative, worked alongside Neil Rettie, who is Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager and based in Tanzania.
Neil says: “We are grateful to Mentor Training for donating their time and skills to develop the expertise of staff at the NIT. Melvin’s efforts have made a significant contribution in raising training standards and capacity of the centre.”