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A lift for jobseekers

THE Fortec Distribution Network has joined forces with a leading manpower and logistics solutions provider to offer unemployed people work as forklift truck drivers.

The leading pallet distribution network has linked up with the Challenge Group, to both improve the skills of jobseekers and fill recruitment gaps.

Candidates will be selected through a screening and assessment process by West Midlands based training organisation Phoenix Training Services (Midlands) Ltd, a recent addition to the Challenge Group.

Challenge and Phoenix have worked closely with Fortec to develop a training package that will ensure candidates are upskilled and prepared for their new career with Fortec.

Phoenix will deliver the Fortec training package at Fortec’s distribution centre in Northamptonshire, enabling local unemployed candidates to undertake training in a real time environment, the training team from both Phoenix and Fortec will work collaboratively to deliver a purposeful training experience.

The jobseekers will undergo an eight-day training course – three of them classroom-based and five practical. Upon completion they will leave with a Counterbalance Licence and industry recognised qualifications which will greatly enhance their employment prospects.

Successful trainees will have an opportunity to join Fortec, initially on a temporary basis with a view to making the role permanent after three months.

Phil Albutt, Branch Manager at The Challenge Group, said: “This is a great way to get people back to work and improve their confidence.

“It’s a fantastic programme and a win-win for everybody involved. Fortec has been hugely supportive and a great asset.”

The scheme was born when Phil saw a gap in the market and approached Fortec to develop the training programme.

A total of 12 unemployed people will go through the training at any one time.

The initiative is government funded aiming to get people either back into the workplace or help those who have never worked.

“This is a great initiative and we’re delighted to support it in this way,” said Stuart White, Fortec’s General Manager Operations.

“We need skilled workers who understand the Fortec culture and this is the perfect way to find and train the optimal workforce whilst at the same time supporting our local community in helping people get back into the workplace.”

When recruiting and screening, Phoenix look at the wider issues of employment, such as integrating people back into work, if they are lone parents, or have issues with transportation or family commitments, providing support where necessary.

Simon Bladon, Operations Director at Phoenix, said: “Relevant employer focused training and a learner centric approach is the key to supporting an employer’s recruitment needs.

“We see a lot of people who have received training but don’t have a game plan or have the aspiration to succeed but not the relevant skill set.

By working closely with Fortec we can provide both an optimised training package which is modelled on their operational requirements and allow potential workers to gain experience of the working environment from day one, this is key developing a sustainable workforce with the right skills set, attitudes and values.

“This sector-based training approach has been a huge success in having a big impact on staff retention which is good for us as a training organisation but also the employee and employer.”

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