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Welcome to the 15 March Warehouse & Logistics News. WLN is proud to be Media Partner to the RTITB and Sumoglove Forklift Operator of the Year Competition 2011, which over the next few months is making a major contribution to industry understanding of forklift operators’ need to improve their skills and take pride in their work.

Read the ‘March 15th’ digital edition

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In this issue we have news from the RTITB about the dates and locations for the National Finals of the Competition. In another major development, Toyota Material Handling UK has been confirmed as Platinum sponsor, and has agreed to supply the trucks and transport for all the Finals, as well as hosting the Northern England Final at its Castleford depot. We have an interview with Toyota’s Tony Wallis, talking about their involvement.

We’ve also got features on Doors & Curtains, including industrial doors, curtains and roller-shutters, and Buildings and Facilities, looking at Main structures and key equipment including temporary structures.

In case you’ve missed it, the new TV series Jamie Oliver’s Dream School makes highly entertaining viewing. But going by the first episode, if hands on teaching from superstars like Rolf Harris and Robert Winston can’t make this bunch of self-obsessed kids feel involved, you wonder if they’d pay attention with Jesus teaching carpentry.

If kids don’t do well at school, the obvious option is vocational training. Is Britain’s vocational training fit for purpose in the 21st century? Does UK industry need to set up its own Dream Technical Schools, to address our skills shortage?

For many teenagers the old apprenticeships of yore would be far better than languishing at school bored witless until they reach leaving age. That said, one of the problems that emerges in the Jamie Dream School is that the kids didn’t feel they were being listened to properly. If kids fail at school and feel alienated, can we seriously expect things to be any different at work? Should skills trainers in industry “do a Jamie,” as in make a connection with the kids (yes, honestly), respect them and earn their respect back? Or does that sort of thing only happen on TV?

In the real world the government plans to open new University Technical Colleges to bridge the gap between vocational and academic education, with a curriculum including technical work-based training and core academic lessons in English and maths. The teachers have criticised the government’s suggestion that pupils could opt for vocational colleges at 14. They say 14 is too young for such decisions and it would reinforce divisions between academic and vocational studies. This one will run and run. Meanwhile, here’s to all the trainers out there reading this. You’re doing a great job!

Warehouse & Logistics News

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