Adecco starts mobile VR training to help fill 4,000 forklift driver vacancies

Adecco starts mobile VR training to help fill 4,000 forklift driver vacancies
Credit: Belga / Dirk Waem

There are currently 4,000 forklift truck driver vacancies in Belgium. Consequently, Adecco is starting a pilot project in Belgium with three large mobile virtual reality (VR) simulators with the aim to train more than 400 forklift truck drivers and order pickers every year.

Adecco – the largest temporary employment group in the world – announced the pilot project in a press release on Tuesday.

"Companies can’t just empty their warehouse spaces to train future forklift drivers," said Michel Gelders, training manager at Adecco Global.

"With the virtual simulators, we simulate a lot of potential risks of incidents and accidents that occur in real reality. The technology allows us to train people faster and at a higher quality."

The three VR/AR simulators allow companies to fully adapt the lessons to the environment in which the candidates will find themselves. "With the VR glasses, they are immediately in the warehouse of their future employer," said Jan Dekeyser, CEO of Adecco BeLux.

"Forklift drivers-to-be see and feel, for example, the load and brands when they bump into something. In this way we accelerate the integration in the workplace after the training."

Adecco wants to prepare 200 drivers for the Belgian labor market by 2022, and at least 400 per year from 2023. After the pilot project in Belgium, the VR training will be rolled out in the rest of the world.

For the 4,000 forklift driver vacancies, only two candidates apply for each job – often without adequate training. It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to fill these vacancies and keep them filled.

Many candidates drop out of the traditional courses because they are not accessible or attractive enough. To solve this two-sided issue, Adecco helps companies train candidates on the work floor with the new mobile training centre.

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Both direct hire and temporary job growth for industrial truck operators in distribution centres have nearly doubled in some key markets, and hourly pay rates have risen as much as 50%, according to Adecco.

Recruitment platform, Indeed, has also recently seen a 6% spike in forklift operator job postings across Belgium. With package delivery booming, hiring companies expect certified, safety-minded candidates to fill these roles.

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