Two apprentice engineers from KP Snacks have beaten hundreds of other entries from across three continents in order to reach the finals of the RTITB International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016 award. They are also the youngest competitors to ever qualify for the final of this prestigious competition, which is partnered with UniCarriers and McCue.
Craig Dawson and Thomas Birkbeck who both work as apprentice engineers for iconic British snack brand KP and are trained forklift drivers, will be demonstrating their knowledge, skill and understanding of safe lift truck operation in the next round of the competition. The live heats will take place at IMHX (International Materials Handling Exhibition) 2016 at the Hall 9 Stand A40, NEC, Birmingham, UK from 13th – 16th September where up to 20,000 people are expected to attend.
Craig and Thomas, who are both only 18 years old, have beaten competitors from as far away as India and the US in order to reach the finals and are among only 40 contestants left in the running to be crowned International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016. Female operators will also be better represented than ever before in this year’s contest, with three female forklift drivers qualifying for the final.
Taking place every three years, the award is hosted by UK-based RTITB the preferred regulatory body for workplace transport training, and this year partnered with UniCarriers and McCue, aims to find, recognise and reward the very best forklift operator in the world.
“This award is a very well-respected accolade among forklift drivers, so to reach the finals you really have to prove you are ’the best of the best’,” said Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB. “At 18 years of age, Craig and Thomas have not only done this, scoring highly in the initial online testing stage, but have also made history as the youngest finalists we have ever had.”
Laura continues “The next generation of skilled forklift operators are key to the future success of the food and drink supply chain. We hope that the 2016 award helps to raise awareness of the career opportunities that exist around the world in this important sector, and shows the difference that safe, efficient, professional forklift operators can make to food and drink logistics operations.”
The finals of the RTITB International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016 take place in Hall 9 Stand A40 at IMHX at the NEC, Birmingham, UK from 13th – 16th September 2016. Competitors will be put through their paces with four tests, two driving tests sponsored by Dolav, Racking & Storage Solutions Ltd and Pyroban. A theory test sponsored by Transaid and pre-use inspection test sponsored by TruckLOG-Davis Derby. For more information, visit www.opofyear.co.uk or follow competition updates on Twitter @opofyear For more information on RTITB, visit www.rtitb.co.uk.