RTITB has crowned the winner of its first Lift Truck Instructor of the Year competition, which took place at the recent Foodex exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham.
The Lift Truck Instructor of the Year competition celebrated the hard work and skill of the UK’s top instructors and was watched by interested industry professionals throughout the day.
The Champion was Ken Saward of Mentor FLT Training Ltd, who received the prize of an iPad Mini, donated by UniCarriers and presented by Mitch Broadstock, Sales Manager of William Reed, representing Foodex. It was a double sucess for Saward, who was crowned RTITB's inaugural Operator of the Year in 2008.
The first runner-up was Lee Knight of Wakefield Skill Centre Ltd, who received the prize of a luxury hamper, donated by A-Safe and presented by Alan Pitt, Major Accounts Manager at UniCarriers UK Ltd.
The secon runner-up was John Wilcock, an independent trainer, who received Amazon vouchers, presented by Richard Elphee, Sales Executive at A-Safe UK Ltd.
“The RTITB Lift Truck Instructor of the Year competition was created to reward instructors for their ongoing dedication to high quality training and to recognise this under-stated profession,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB, the UK’s leading workplace transport training accrediting body.
“The competition recognises all the fantastic work that lift truck instructors do,” continues Laura. “This can be a dangerous industry and providing effective training is crucial for ensuring safe forklift operation and a reduction in workplace incidents. We wanted to give credit to the instructors that work so hard to train safe, skilled staff, similar to how we reward drivers at RTITB’s International Forklift Operator of the Year competition.”
Following completion of an online assessment, just 10 entrants were shortlisted for the grand final out of nearly 60,000 eligible instructors. The instructors impressed an international audience of industry professionals with their talents in four live practical rounds including truck operation, underpinning knowledge, pre-use truck inspection and delivery of a pre-allocated training lesson.
Laura says: “We will be analysing all the responses and performance from the testing we conducted to identify any trends or skills gaps. With this information we hope to further improve RTITB instructor training for the benefit of the industry as a whole.”
Grand prize winner Ken Saward, an RTITB qualified instructor, received not only a prize but also widespread recognition for himself and his employer: “Taking part in the competition was a very enjoyable experience and it was a privilege to meet some very professional fellow instructors.
“When I was announced as the winner it was a massive shock but at the same time it was a very happy experience as it is nice to be rewarded and recognised for the hard work that has been done.”
“When I became Operator of the Year in 2008 I said that the next thing I wanted to become was Instructor of the Year, now I just need to decide what the next challenge is.".
Lee Knight, the first runner-up, says: “I feel really proud of myself and in my abilities as an instructor. I also really liked the prize - it felt like someone had really thought about it.”
“It was an honour to be able to compete in the first ever RTITB Instructor if the year final,” says second runner-up John Wilcock. “The competition was tough, but conducted in good spirit and I was really pleased to achieve the position of second runner up against excellent competitors.”
Foodex exhibition was chosen as the location for the 2016 competition due to its position as one of the nation’s most important exhibitions for the food and drink industry. Hundreds of suppliers and exhibitors concerned with the processing, packaging and logistics of food and drink products, from food retailers to supply chain professionals and warehouse managers attended and witnessed the live competition final.
“Food and drink manufacturing and supply chain relies heavily on forklift drivers and instructors so we felt that Foodex would be the perfect place to host the event,” Laura adds. “We were overwhelmed with the support from the audience and really impressed with the calibre of entrants for the competition’s first event. They've set the standard really high for next time.”
RTITB congratulated all 10 finalists for taking part:
- Ken Saward, Mentor FLT Training Limited – Champion
- Lee Knight, Wakefield Skill Centre – First runner-up
- John Wilcock, Independent Trainer – Second runner-up
- Barry Ball, DHL
- James Bell, Chris Sales Forklift Truck Training Ltd
- Peter Griffith, Independent Trainer
- Bal Johal, Voestalpine Metsec Plc
- Steve Lake, Anglia Logistics Transport Training Academy
- Ben Maguire, MGM Training
- Anthony Welsh, Asco
Entry for the 2016 RTITB Lift Truck Operator of the Year competition is open, with the regional heats taking place at IMHX in September.