An engineer from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has returned to the UK after a four-week secondment in Africa which saw him training Tanzanian Police to carry out HGV and PSV vehicle inspections at the roadside.
Wyn Skyrme, from Newport, Gwent, spent a total of 26 days in Dar Es Salaam during February and March 2012, supporting international development charity Transaid’s Professional Driving Training Project with the National Institute of Transport (NIT).
The primary goal of his visit was to train both NIT staff and Police vehicle inspectors to conduct commercial vehicle inspections and defect assessments to UK best practice standards.
Commenting on his experience in Tanzania, Wyn says: "My training was split between the classroom, NIT’s workshops and real-life inspections on the Tanzanian highways. The work at the roadside was a massive eye-opener for me; it reinforced the importance of Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project and the vital need to raise vehicle maintenance standards to help improve road safety.
"I found it overwhelming just how much respect the people of Tanzania have for what Transaid is doing. I was inundated with messages of thanks from those I met – they really value the assistance being provided," he explains.
Wyn put his 29 years of transport industry expertise and a copy of VOSA’s Inspection Manual to maximum use during his time in Tanzania. He spent the first two weeks at the NIT, where he trained 12 HGV and PSV engineers in vehicle inspection procedures, diagnostics, workshop safety and environmental issues.
During the third and fourth week he teamed up with 28 police vehicle inspectors from across Tanzania to demonstrate how to carry out real-life vehicle inspections to UK roadside enforcement standards. This training marked a first for Transaid in Tanzania, helping to take the charity’s impact to a wider institutional level.
At the end of his visit, all those who had been trained were awarded certificates to recognise their new skills and provided with the information and resources to ensure this vital training can be shared and passed-on to colleagues nationwide.
Commenting on the success of the project, Gary Forster, Chief Executive of Transaid, explains: "Whenever we have a volunteer on the ground we challenge ourselves to make the maximum use of every hour of their stay. Wyn’s trip is a prime example of just how much can be achieved in a short space of time. His efforts have made a significant contribution in our efforts to raise training standards and road safety in sub-Saharan Africa.
"We are particularly encouraged by this support from a leading industry body and our sincere thanks go to Wyn and to the FTA for its generous donation of time and expertise."