First learners ‘pick up’ new qualification for work

Congratulations to the first learners to complete our new forklift truck training course! Delivered at Oakwell Training over five full days, the participants learned how to operate a forklift truck and developed their confidence to operate safely in a work environment. All of the learners achieved a recognised forklift truck qualification at the end of this course as well as developing key employability skills.

Rob, the course instructor, said: “These are great skills to have as every business, at some point in its supply chain requires this element of logistics. There are lots of job opportunities in this area, so it’s great to be able to give Barnsley people the skills that are needed. Some of the learners have not driven any vehicle before. So, for them to have a qualification at the end and be quite confident, it’s the best part. We’ve had a great bunch of people and it’s brilliant to see them all working together.”

Hayden, one of the learners, said: “I was coming into it really nervous, thinking ‘it’s going to be hard’ and ‘I’m not going to have a clue what I’m going to be doing’. On the first day, I didn’t even know how to turn the forklift on. Compared to the end of the week now, I feel safe driving it, I’m not going to injure people and I can do my manoeuvres. There have been very good people here and the hands-on experience has been brilliant, exciting and motivating. I’m glad I did it and came away with the experience and a qualification. I’m looking forward to being in a long-term, steady job.”

Josh, another learner, said: “I had a really good time on the course. I’m proud that I’ve been able to do some of the activities like getting through the really tight course with a load on the front of the forklift truck and then being able to reverse back through it. Being coached through it by Rob and having lots of advice was very helpful. You’re never made to feel like you’re stupid and you’re always supported.”

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: "It’s great to see another example of how preparing for work can provide renewed sense of purpose and belonging by sparking interests and motivations. Congratulations to the first learners to pass the course! I hope that anybody who would like to gain new skills and improve their employability gets in touch with our friendly team."

Our Sector Routeways programme has been funded by the European Social Fund and provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in a range of sectors, including:

  • construction
  • hospitality
  • care
  • youth work
  • hair and beauty
  • bespoke training packages

If you’re aged 18 and over, live in the Barnsley area, and you’re not currently working, you can apply at or call 01226 775100. To find out the full range of support that Barnsley’s Skills and Employability can offer and to get in touch with a friendly advisor, visit

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