The first 10 day instructor course
I wrote up the handouts for the operator training course and took them to the office to be typed. Then I got a shock. They told me that our first Instructor Course started on the 8th of January and it was fully booked with 10 trainees, as was the second one which followed immediately after.
No one had mentioned preparation for an instructor course, so nothing had been done and next week was the last before the Christmas break. I went to see Brian, my new immediate Boss, and he agreed that we had a problem: we could not get it ready in time. I undertook to do some of the preparation at home during the break so we went to see the office manager and the visual aids manager to secure their assistance in a lot of typing etc. in just the 4 days following our return to work.
They assured me they would cope and I began writing up the course. As Brian pointed out, I would have to assume that none of the candidates would have received any formal operator training and they would have to be trained and assessed to a higher standard than operators. At this stage we had a theory test for operators but no formal practical test. Just a simple assessment form to be completed by the instructor.
So I drafted out a block syllabus and timetable and discussed it with Brian. We agreed on 3 days operator training and 7 days method of instruction and I got stuck into writing it up, together with the handouts and training aids necessary. We knew we would be running a unapproved course, but the only alternative was to cancel at least two instructor courses.
So I spent a lot of my Christmas leave writing up an entirely new course, its handouts and drafting out visual aids and on our first day back at work I handed them to the office manager. True to their word it was all typed up and the visual aids prepared by the Thursday evening and on the Friday Ike and I prepared to run our first Instructor course.
On Monday morning we went to the main hall and listened to Mr Ormerod, the general manager welcoming new trainees to the site and making a short speech and this was followed by a speech delivered by Mr Lyne the training manager. Then we collected our 10 trainees and took them to the clothing store to draw hard hats and thick duffle coats, then to our classroom for induction. We were both apprehensive as we were about to run an untried, unrehearsed course teaching a new method of load handling.