A SWINDON-BASED company that teaches engineers the skills needed to repair forklifts claims to be the only one of its kind in the UK.

F-TEC in Kembrey Park Industrial Estate is the only training facility in the country that is accredited by both the British Industrial Truck Association and Fork Lift Truck Association.

Managing director Karl Baum said: “We are the best-kept secret in Swindon but now it’s time to tell everyone we’re here. This is one of the most important engineering businesses in the UK and we have been quite successful so far and set up a good base.

“I could have started this anywhere but Swindon is the engineering heartland of the country and it has all the road links and business partners you could need so we are really pleased.

“The country has an ageing workforce of engineers so we have been focusing on offering apprenticeships to train the next generation who have just left school. Plus, we help mature workers transfer their skills and teach them how to work on modern electric machines."

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson visited the 15,000sq m centre to meet the 14-strong team as they celebrate its third anniversary.

Mr Tomlinson said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate yet another thriving Swindon business that has chosen to set up here for its national programme.

“Swindon is attracting growing businesses like F-TEC and I’ve been particularly impressed with their program of work to train the next generation of engineers in this vital industry.”

Accelerated training programmes can take as little as five weeks while starting from the basics and working up to a Level 3 qualification takes three years. So far, the company has trained more than 100 apprentices from all over the country with a 90 per cent success rate.

Mr Baum added: “Not many people think about the forklift industry but it’s massive, fascinating and integral to people's lives. Everything that gets delivered – food, Amazon products, anything – needs forklifts and people who know how to repair them.

"The team are doing a fantastic job, we have lots to do and I want this to be the best training program in the UK."