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When anyone outside Birmingham thinks about the city, they might think of the distinctive Bullring shopping centre, the huge urban spread, or the famous Custard Factory venue.  What they might not immediately think of is the abundance of opportunities for anyone who has forklift driving certificationBut it turns out that Birmingham is the place to be if you want to clean up on the forklift driving front. Birmingham has always been a centre of industry, playing a huge part in the industrial revolution and still being home to some huge international brands such as Amazon.


With much of this industry comes extensive warehouse space, especially with retail giants like Amazon.  And all this space needs skilled workers who can navigate their way around it with the vehicles that were built for exactly this kind of environment – forklift trucks.


Do I need a licence to drive a forklift?

The short answer is no, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a job without doing any training or certification. No good employer will hire a forklift truck driver who hasn’t been properly trained first, because this could put their employees and their property in danger. When you train with a company like HGVT, you’ll learn everything you need to know to be able to operate a forklift truck to a professional standard and will receive a certificate from ITSSAR or RTITB, meaning employers will have enough confidence to consider you for any forklift driving job you apply for.


What are the different types of forklift?

One of the first things you’ll learn on your training is how to differentiate between the most common types of forklift trucks. The two most common types are counterbalance and reach. Counterbalance trucks can be operated by driving right up to the loads they need to pick up, and they are – as the name suggests – counterbalanced by a weight on the back to keep them stable.


Reach forklift trucks are used to ‘reach’ loads that are further back on shelving racks, all while staying stable and safe. This makes them ideal for large warehouses where a lot of items are kept on large shelving units. There are also side loader forklifts which are best used in very narrow warehouse aisles where space is at a premium, and rough terrain forklifts, most commonly used in construction.


What jobs are available?

A quick look at any jobs website will show you a very high proportion of forklift driving jobs in the Birmingham area compared with other cities, spread across many different industrial warehouses. Of these, the most common wage bracket is at least £20,000, but there are plenty of available forklift driving jobs which go up to £30,000 and even £40,000 per year.


These higher paid types of jobs may be more senior supervisory roles, where you’ll be expected to know and fully understand the job of driving a forklift truck in order to manage a team of people who are doing that very job. This means you’ll need to have experience of driving a forklift already, in order to do the best possible job of managing the people who do, and you may also need to pitch in with the driving as part of your role too. So even if you’re looking to rise to a more managerial position eventually, it pays to train in the roles you hope to one day be managing, and also means you look exceptionally good to potential warehouse employers.


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