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How training can help you tackle the warehousing and logistics skills shortage faster

Blogs | 7th Jun 2022
National Forklift Safety Day 2022

Filling forklift operator roles is a struggle for many businesses in the warehousing and logistics industry. Research shows that 54% of logistics operations expect to still see skills shortages by 2024. However, a digital approach to lift truck operator training using eLearning could be part of the solution.

eLearning was helpful for continuing essential lift truck operator training during lockdowns and quarantine. It is also a valuable tool for addressing the skills shortage. Delivering training with eLearning, is quick and effective. It supports faster recruitment and the upskilling and reskilling of existing employees. It can save days in training time, along with related costs. It is also appealing for attracting new and younger talent to the industry.

How much time and money can you save with forklift eLearning?

eLearning helps to speed up the overall process of counterbalance forklift operator and reach truck operator training. With eTruck UK from RTITB, training time can be reduced by two days per novice course. If adopted across the UK warehousing and logistics industry, it would result in a nationwide saving of an estimated 40,000 training days per year.

Taking the traditional, offline learning route to complete counterbalance forklift novice and reach truck conversion training, a lift truck training candidate would be required to complete 32.5 hours of novice training for counterbalance trucks, plus 13 hours of reach truck conversion training. That is a minimum total of 45.5 contact training hours.

On the eLearning route, the candidate can complete approximately five hours of theory training with eTruck UK, in their own time and at their own pace. Then 21 hours of practical training for counterbalance novice, and 8 hours of reach truck conversion training. This totals a minimum of 29 contact training hours. Compared with the figure above, that is a saving of 16.5 contact training hours saved. When considering the reduction in lost working hours, this equates to a total of £494 saved* per candidate.

Workplace diversity and learning differences

The benefits of digital learning are clear. Yet a PwC report stated that 50% of executives in logistics businesses say their biggest barrier to digital adoption is a lack of digital culture and training. eTruck UK helps to break this barrier as new and younger talent enters the industry, by introducing digital learning at the beginning of a novice training candidate’s warehousing career. Simple and engaging to use, it will help to fill skills gaps and change the learning landscape.

Workplaces in the UK today often have a workforce that spans four generations. Each has very different life experiences, especially in terms of technology use. Learning and Work Institute found half of young people are interested in a job which requires advanced digital skills, and 70% expect an employer to invest in their skills.

A digital training approach that younger workers are comfortable and familiar with is therefore crucial for attracting the right talent. This is especially important as the demand for warehousing, transport and logistics employees is currently 4.6 times higher than the number of young people aspiring to work in the industry, according to research.

eLearning appeals to a diverse workforce

A recent report from Talent in Logistics and the UKMHA (UK Material Handling Association) showed the importance of diversity in warehousing and logistics operations. The number of women in logistics is on the rise, and young people are beginning to show interest in the industry. However, a more diverse workforce may have differences when it comes to learning.

For example, females typically tend to have a better memory, better use of language and are more articulate and focused. On the other hand, males tend to be more mechanically focused and have better spatial awareness. While these are generalisations of binary gender types and not necessarily the case for every individual, they do offer an interesting insight. Neurodiversity can also bring a multitude of additional learning requirements and considerations.

There are also different types of learners. Some prefer to hear, or see information, others prefer to read or write. Some people, known as kinaesthetic learners, learn best by doing and experiencing. All these differences are considerations when planning training, and eTruck can help. The platform is designed with different learning styles in mind, combining voiceover for auditory learners, with engaging images and videos for visual learners, and on-screen text and quizzes for those who prefer to learn with reading and writing. The digital storytelling approach of eTruck is also designed to be experiential, enabling kinaesthetic learners to immerse themselves in the training.

These elements also will benefit learners whose first language is not English, as well as those who learn at a slower pace. The combination of voiceover, text, and images provided with eTruck UK, can help aid learning compared to an instructor-led classroom session. Coupled with the ability to replay any part of the training, these features contribute to a greater level of understanding and knowledge for the individual learner.

Close the logistics skills gap with training

Training and development are vital in the warehousing and logistics industry. They prepare lift truck operators for their roles and keep them safe and engaged in their work.  They also play a part in solving the skills gap, and contributing to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Get started with eTruck from RTITB

Contact the team to learn more about how eTruck for novice counterbalance forklift and reach truck operators and refresher training can help you fill lift truck operator vacancies and save time and money for your operation. Or, download a FREE 30-day eTruck demo.

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