The other day I was driving to work and had to do some heavy braking to avoid the idiot overtaking on a blind corner and it set me thinking about driver training in general and then on to forklift driver training as it is at present.
I totally agree with Greg Murphy that in New Zealand we don’t teach people to drive, we teach them how to pass the test, and forklift driver training is just the same. Neither testing regime puts any emphasis on actual skills, it’s more about knowing the rules and theory, not whether you are really capable behind the wheel.
The big difference between getting your car license and your forklift operator’s certificate is that there’s a standard country-wide driving test for your car, set and monitored by Waka Kotahi, but for forklifts every training provider has their own course and teaches their own curriculum to wildly varying standards. So, we end up with forklift drivers who vary from excellent to awful but all having passed training courses.
The current training structure is under review as part of the restructuring of tertiary education and the NZ Forklift Industry Association is involved in this. The Association is cooperating with Worksafe to develop and take control of a new driver training regime with national standards with all registered trainers working to the same basic curriculum and hopefully with a much greater requirement for the trainees to demonstrate real driving skills.
I think this will be a great step forward for everyone who drives forklifts and every business that employs forklift drivers.
If you agree maybe you’d like to think about becoming an associate member of the NZFIA and helping achieve the training goals. Check the NZFIA website.