UK training manager raises forklift safety standards in Africa
A UK training manager has spent two weeks in Africa raising the teaching standards of forklift truck driving instructors to 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.
England said: “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 breath-taking. Some walked 5 kilometres there and back just to take part.”
England, 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.
Rettie said: “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.”
Transaid is an international development agency that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.
Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. Transaid enjoys strong backing from the transport and logistics industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”