SPECIALIST training at a national facility in Swindon, coupled with hands-on experience alongside highly skilled colleagues, is setting Lewis Lockwood up for the career path of his choice.
Lewis, who is 18, joined Hitec Lift Trucks in Wellingborough last year after mentioning during a period of work experience that he'd be interested in a longer-term role with the company.
He's now in the second year of an engineering apprenticeship and the company has been impressed by his development and his attitude towards his work.
Managing Director, Prospero Girardi, said: "When Lewis came to us for a couple of weeks from college we gave him a taste of all areas of the job, from the workshop to being out on the road to the sales department.
"Eventually, he thinks he'd like to work in sales but both parties felt that a thorough grounding in the engineering side would give him an in-depth knowledge of the business, then he can move on to another role later on should he want to but he will always have qualifications behind him that are valuable in the industry."
As well as learning his skills in the workshop at the firm's headquarters in Bradfield Road on the Finedon Road Industrial Estate, Lewis also regularly attends F-Tec in Swindon. F-Tec is a specialist materials handling training centre set up by the sector's governing bodies. There, he receives theory and practical training to complement what he's learning in his everyday working life.
Prospero Girardi added: "We send him off to Swindon for a week at a time, which is a commitment for us, and a commitment for him, but he's an enthusiastic, dedicated and clever young man and I know that commitment will pay off.
"The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) created the apprenticeship scheme to address the shortage of skilled engineers in the sector and we're lucky to have such a specialist training facility. Each year, the FLTA chooses an Apprentice of the Year for apprentices in their final year and we'll certainly be putting Lewis forward for that when the time comes."
For more information about Hitec Lift Trucks, call 01933 228127 or visit the website www.askhitec.co.uk