Working as a forklift driver is one of the more well-known logistics jobs. Fortunately for those looking for a job in a warehouse, port or airport, it is also one of the best paid.
The average salary has jumped up 13% since 2013, as skills shortages continue to bite across the logistics sector.
Forklift drivers often move upwards to become shift supervisors or team leaders, and if you wish to take your training further, you could work as a maintenance engineer or forklift instructor, or even warehouse manager.
Read this article to find out what to look for in a forklift driver, as well as roles and responsibilities, average salary and training requirements.
Click here to hire temporary forklift drivers — without picking up the phone.
Forklift truck drivers will be a core part of a logistics team, and you may often have to work under high pressure to help keep an operation running smoothly. Therefore, when looking to hire, it will be important not only to look at core technical skills, but also whether they will be able to fit in and work effectively with your team.
Firstly, core skills: you’ll be looking for some one who is good at organising, able to deal with paperwork and follow schedules, accurate and has an eye for safety.
Second, but just as important, is the ability to work under pressure, and maintain a can-do attitude, especially when working with a larger team.
Next, vehicle familiarity: there are many different types of forklift trucks: industrial reach, counterbalance, rough terrain, side loaders, telescopic hander and pedestrian operated pallet trucks.
You might want to consider working with recruitment agencies — it is getting increasingly harder to recruit in the UK logistics sector — and if you do so, make sure they know what type of machinery the driver will need to be familiar with.
Finally consider the working environment: warehouse, factory, farmyard, construction site — it’s better to have someone who has had experience in similar conditions to those they will work in with you.
There are recruitment agencies who specialise in warehouse and logistic roles. They will make sure the drivers have the correct licences, a CSCS card and the right to work in the UK.
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Forklift drivers are in high demand, so understand that you may need to pay a little more to secure the right people for your job.
If you’re looking for work, this is great news! Expect to be paid between £8.70 and £10.40 an hour — well above the minimum wage for 2019.
Unlike other motorists, there is no legal requirement for forklift drivers to have a license — unless you need to take them onto a public highway.
However, there are specific training courses drivers can take to boost their application. For a start, gaining a Certificate in Forklift Truck Operations will make you more attractive to employers, and give the employer greater comfort.
You can also get into this role by means of a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Supply Chain — Warehouse Operations.
Or, your employer will be able to provide training on site, following best practice safety standards.