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Industry gets skills lift with new technical qualifications

A suite of brand new national qualifications, designed specifically for lift truck technicians, has been launched by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Developed in association with leading organisations in the lift truck industry to provide a benchmark of technical competence, they will be awarded exclusively by the IMI, which is both the retail motor industry’s professional association and leading qualifications body.

Carrying Government funding for those under 25s on apprenticeships, the new qualifications cover areas from lift truck construction and routine maintenance right through to advanced power-shift transmission systems, advanced engine operations, auxiliary systems and complex diagnosis. Training is delivered through the IMI’s network of approved assessment centres, including Finning UK, which is the first company to integrate them into its apprentice training programme. Colleges offering the qualifications so far include North Warwickshire and Hinckley, and City of Bristol.

The new qualifications are:

  • IMI Level 1 Award in Lift Truck Maintenance and Repair (designed as a two-year pre-apprenticeship from 14-16 to fast track onto an apprenticeship);
  • IMI Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Lift Truck Maintenance and Repair;
  • National or Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 2 and 3 (N/SVQ) in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Lift Truck Technician;
  • Foundation and Advanced Apprenticeship in Lift Truck Maintenance and Repair (incorporating Certificate and Diploma and N/SVQ Level 2 and 3 respectively).

Candidates are required to undertake IMI practical assessments in the workplace, employer-devised internal assessments and a series of multiple-choice tests, using the IMI’s pioneering on-line assessment system, launched in 2001.

Commented Andy Kemp, training officer at Finning UK:

"Working closely with the IMI to deliver these awards has been an exciting project which can only benefit Finning UK and the wider lift truck industry."

John Sutton, lead external verifier for the IMI, said: "Having been involved in the lift truck industry for more than 27 years, the launch of these specific technical qualifications represents a significant moment for this industry and I feel proud to have been part of the team that has implemented them."