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.