Saturday, March 26, 2011

British college teaching construction adds accessible forklift truck

From Chad in the UK:

People with disabilities are being given new opportunities to get jobs in the logistics industry, thanks to a specially-adapted vehicle introduced by West Nottinghamshire College.

The college is set to unveil a new type of forklift truck at its Construction and Logistics Skills Academy on Wednesday (30th March), which has been adapted to suit wheelchair users, amputees and those with lower limb disorders or dwarfism.

The ‘Freedom 1’ forklift truck is being introduced to the college’s logistics curriculum, in partnership with Freedom Training, a Mansfield-based company, specialising in forklift truck training.

Providing injured former military personnel with an opportunity to retrain for a new career prompted Paul Green of Freedom Training to create the vehicle. It is believed to be the only vehicle of its kind in the world and West Nottinghamshire College will be helping to pioneer its use as a method of improving access to employment for all abilities.

Business development manager for engineering and transport at the college, Craig Done, said: “We’re proud to be introducing this new truck as part of our logistics training courses to provide people with a disability the same access to the logistics industry as able-bodied people.

“Opportunities for careers in vast and varied logistics sector are increasing for wheelchair users, amputees and people with lower limb disorders. More logistics employers are realising that people with a disability are effective employees who add value and diversity to their workforce.

“We hope that this innovative new equipment will help open doors for disabled people keen to enter the sector.”