Near Or Far: Should You Choose On-Site Or Off-Site Order Picker Training For Your Employees?

Forklifts may be relatively simple pieces of equipment, but proper training in their use is vital for any employee expected to operate them. Adequate training is particularly important when it comes to operating order picker forklifts, as these operators will be expected to work in the cramped and potentially dangerous surroundings of a commercial warehouse. As such, forklift training services around the country offer a range of specialised training courses specially designed for order picking forklift drivers.

However, choosing where this training should take place can be difficult, as order picker training can be conducted at your place of business or at a dedicated training facility. Each of these training approaches comes with its own advantages and drawbacks, so choosing the right training method or your employees can be a vital step in making sure training goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

What are the pros and cons of on-site order picker training?

The great advantages of conducting order picker training at your place of business is that your employees gain knowledge in familiar surroundings and will be trained to navigate the actual warehouses and spaces they will be expected to work in safely and swiftly. They will also learn the intricacies of forklift operation by training on the very same forklifts they will drive once fully trained, eliminating any confusion as employees switch between different forklift models.

However, there are other attractive advantages to on-site training. It is generally cheaper to arrange than off-site training, with no travel expenses or venue hire costs to deal with. On-site training also makes supervising the training process yourself much simpler, and ensures that your entire workforce reports for mandatory training courses.

However, on-site training can be an enormous distraction to other employees who are not undergoing training, and cordoning off a section of your business space for training purposes can hamper efficiency. Conducting training outside of work hours can prevent this problem, but keeping your building(s) operational out of hours can become expensive, especially in winter.

What about the pros and cons of off-site order picker training?

Off-site order picker training courses take place at dedicated training facilities, often featuring 'test tracks' for employees to familiarise themselves with forklift operation. These courses are excellent for 24-hour businesses that would suffer unacceptable interruptions from on-site training. However, off-site training can benefit your employees just as much as it benefits you; with no distractions or everyday work concerns to deal with, off-site courses can be much more focused and intense, and can turn out fully-trained order pickers more quickly.

These advantages make off-site training ideal for smaller warehousing operations, particularly those that deal with sensitive or fragile equipment that require highly trained and focused order pickers to safely transport them.

Unfortunately, off-site training generally costs considerably more than on-site training courses, although these costs can be defrayed somewhat by training larger groups of employees at one time. It can also be difficult for employees living in rural or isolated locations to reach off-site training venues, and you may have to lay on transport to ensure full attendance at training courses.