Racking up new success

Mick Green (left) and Rack Group director Simon Lee
Mick Green (left) and Rack Group director Simon Lee
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A BARNSLEY man who left school with no qualifications is to get his first certificate at the age of 62.

A BARNSLEY man who left school with no qualifications is to get his first certificate at the age of 62.

Mick Green works for the Rack Group in Carlton, which supplies, repairs and inspects racking systems, used in warehouses and includes Asda, B&Q, DHL, Britvic and Premier Foods among its clients.

He will receive is an NVQ developed by managers at the company because there was no other qualification in the sector and they were concerned over poor health and safety standards in the racking industry.

“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.

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 began training its own staff some years ago and went on to train others, including inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive, but, says Simon Lee, it took many years to formalise the training and create the NVQ.

“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.

The group is now offering the NVQ to all racking system installers through its subsidiary Rack Training, which is gradually increasing the courses it offers. The group also has another subsidiary, called Rack Armour, which supplies specialist equipment to protect rack legs from damage caused by fork lift trucks.

Rack Group has doubled its turnover during the last year, with help from business support programme Enterprising Barnsley, and has plans for further growth on an international stage.

“We are working with a business coach from Enterprising Barnsley to help us look at where we need to go in the future,” said director Jenny Charlton.

“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.”