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The Corporation

Posted: 27/07/10

Kyle's driving ambition

Determined Kyle Hewitt hasn’t let his disability prevent him from achieving a fork-lift truck driving qualification.

The 22-year-old from Sutton-in-Ashfield, was born with his left arm missing from five inches below his elbow – but this hasn’t stopped him studying on a programme which requires great manual dexterity.

Kyle undertook the four-day counter-balance and reach fork-lift truck course accredited by Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) at West Nottinghamshire College’s Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Manual work has never proved a problem for Kyle who, after leaving the sixth form at Ashfield Comprehensive School, worked for a local company in the goods inward department, loading and unloading vans and putting stock away.

He said: “I was only born with one hand so it’s something I’ve learnt to live with and I’ve learnt to do things differently and never really let it stand in my way.  When I was 17 I really wanted to take my driving lessons and I had no problem doing them so I think that’s why I wanted to do my forklift license because it’s just a different type of driving.”

It was after being made redundant from his goods inward worker role that he visited the Job Centre to see what he could do next in his career.

Kyle explained: “I didn’t just want to work in a warehouse doing packing jobs, so I thought about doing a fork-lift truck course.  The Job Centre contacted West Notts College and got me enrolled on the course.”

Tutor Andy Ingle praised Kyle’s determined attitude, saying: “In terms of skills, Kyle developed very well over the period of the training and he had a very determined attitude to succeed.

“We carefully adapted our initial assessment before Kyle started training in the truck to ensure he had a safe and accessible way of getting in and out of the vehicle.  He had no problems with learning the techniques.”

Since passing his qualification Kyle has successfully found employment with Kirkby-in-Ashfield-based firm – Ashfield Extrusions – as machine operator and fork-lift driver.  His determination and dedication has clearly paid off.

“I’d say to anyone with a disability don’t think of what you can’t do but aim for what you can do and build on those strengths.  I’m glad I went to college and now I’ve got an industry-recognised qualification, a new job and much more confidence.”