Goscor Lift Truck Company has created a new learning centre for its merSETA-accredited training. The new facility is co-located with the company’s Rebuild Centre to give learners a platform to experience more hands-on training.

To sharpen its technical skills, Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) established its own Training Centre at the beginning of September 2017. The Training Centre was aimed at providing refresher courses and continuous product training for GLTC technicians. Since last year when GLTC became merSETA accredited, the facility has jointly been used for both merSETA training and refresher courses for GLTC technicians.

Lex Winson, National Service Manager at GLTC, explains that the company has since created a separate learning facility for its merSETA training. The new facility is co-located with GLTC’s Rebuild Centre and the new arrangement promotes more hands-on training as learners now have the platform to work on machines that come in for rebuild from start to finish. GLTC established its dedicated Rebuild Centre in March 2017, which is purely focused on refurbishing and rebuilding ex-long term rental and trade-in units.

For their practical lessons, learners used to shadow service technicians in the workshop or would go out for customer repairs with experienced technicians. Stephen Webb, merSETA trainer at GLTC, says the previous arrangement didn’t give them a good practical exposure as they didn’t get to work on every component of the machine – they were just working randomly on different repair jobs that were available at the time.

Winson explains that because GLTC’s equipment is maintained correctly, breakdowns are less and if they are there, they are very minor. As a result, having learners going out with service technicians for minor repair jobs or breakdowns didn’t really give them much practical experience.

“Co-locating the new merSETA learning centre with the Rebuild Centre now allows learners to work on a machine from start to finish, which gives them a good hands-on training, especially considering the amount of machines that we are rebuilding at the moment.”

Step forward

Despite pushing a more hands-on approach to the training regime, Winson reiterates that GLTC still follows merSETA modules 100%. “The merSETA modules are done in the classroom and we cannot deviate from them. We have just gone a step forward by exposing our learners to more practical training, which gives them a better understanding of the real technical world,” says Winson.

A major advantage of this setup, according to Webb, is that it teaches learners to look at a lift truck in-depth, whereas in the past it was just a rough look at certain components. “Learners are now more involved – they work on machines all the way from the condition report stage to the actual completion of the repair/rebuild job,” says Webb.

“The condition report is what gives them an understanding of what needs to be repaired on the lift truck. They will have also have to associate the failures they have identified in the report with the relevant part numbers for them to be able to put a quotation together. The whole point here is that we are exposing them to the daily practical work they will need to do when they qualify,” says Winson.

Second intake

GLTC’s merSETA training programme duration is 18 months. Webb explains that the timeline is extendable if ever they are running out of time. The training institution can apply to merSETA for extension. However, GLTC is well on time with its first and current intake of seven trainees.

Winson says the second intake will be enrolled soon and it will have four additional trainees. He explains that an intake of four people per enrolment is more ideal than the seven they had in the first class.

“Seven is a bit too much for a single trainer. What we have done with the first class is that we split them up into two groups. They started off together in the theoretical part of the programme and once they had finished the required number of modules to start with, they were then split into two groups. Half the team continued with theoretical training, while the other half went into practical. They are then swopped around every three months between theory and practical,” concludes Winson.