62-year-old Mick gets first qualification
28 April 2011
A man from Barnsley who left school with no qualifications will receive his first certificate at Oakwell next Friday (May 6th) – aged 62.
The NVQ that Mick Green is being awarded was created by his employer because of their concerns over poor health and safety issues within the racking industry.
Mick, of Sackville Street, works for the Rack Group in Carlton, a company he joined in 1991. The company supplies, repairs and inspects the giant shelving, known as racking systems, used in warehouses. Their clients include Asda, B&Q, DHL, Britvic and Premier Foods.
The NVQ level 2 was designed by managers at the Rack Group because there was no other qualification in the industry.
Rack Group director Simon Lee said: “The racking industry is serviced by unqualified people who can be working at heights of up to 30 metres and they can do that with little or no training.
“The NVQ provides a much needed standard for the industry. Other similar industries have standards and qualifications, but until this qualification was created the level of competency of people building pallet racking was not measured.”
The Rack Group started offering training to its own staff and others, including inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive.
But Simon said it took many years to formalise the training and create the NVQ. They have now set up a separate company, Rack Training Limited, to run the training.
“There was so much red tape to get through. But we think it is worth it. We originally came up with the idea ten years ago and we have only just got our first batch of trainees through the course,” he said.
The NVQ Diploma in “specialist installation occupations (construction) – industrial storage systems” takes about six months to achieve.
Trainees must demonstrate that they know how to install industrial storage equipment, understand health and safety policies and procedures and show evidence that they can use tools and equipment in the correct manner.
Mick said he was looking forward to getting his certificate at a ceremony on the 6th May at Barnsley Football club. He is one of 16 Rack employees to receive the NVQ.
“I left school aged 15 with no qualifications and never thought I would get any, so it’s great to get this NVQ. It also means that I feel even safer when I am doing my job,” said Mick.
The group is now offering the NVQ to all rack installers through its subsidiary Rack Training, which is gradually increasing the courses offered
And that isn’t the only part of the Rack Group doing well. Rack Armour which supplies specialist equipment to protect rack legs from damage caused by fork lift trucks, has doubled its turnover in the last year – thanks, at least in part, to business support from Enterprising Barnsley.
Jenny Charlton, Rack Group director, said: “We are working with a business coach from Enterprising Barnsley to help us look at where we need to go in the future. And we are looking at becoming a much global company.
“Pallet racking systems are used all over the world and we want to get into more markets, particularly in Europe and the US. By getting help and advice from Enterprising Barnsley I am sure we can do it.”
Enterprising Barnsley is a business support programme which helps businesses with high growth potential. The programme has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. Enterprising Barnsley also offers office space and runs networking events.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Reporters and photographers are invited to the awards ceremony at Oakwell at 6pm on Friday May 6th. It will be preceded by a tour of the football club at 5pm. Fourteen members of staff, including Mick, will receive their certificates at the ceremony (two are unable to attend). It is not yet known who will present the certificates.
Photographs of Mick Green and Simon Lee are available from Kate Betts
Simon Lee can be contacted on 01226 784488
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre and University Campus Barnsley. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide an integrated programme of business support. The website is www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk