For the first time in the competition’s history, female forklift operators have qualified for the Grand Finals of the RTITB International Forklift Operator of the Year competition.
At the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX), Samantha Tyson, who works at PPG in Morley, Leeds, won her heat on day 2 of the competition, which is sponsored by UniCarriers and McCue. Emily White, from System Training in Carlisle then followed as the overall winner of the day 3 heats. Both will move forward to the Grand Final in early 2017, where the 12 top forklift operators from the heats at IMHX will compete to be crowned International Forklift Operator of the Year.
“Before this year, no female operators had ever reached the grand final, so I am absolutely thrilled to see that female forklift drivers have made it to the final stages of the competition,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training regulatory body, which has been organising the competition since 2008. “Not only does this recognise their hard work, but it helps to show that all kinds of different people can succeed in careers within logistics.”
To earn a place in the Grand Final, drivers were tested on their operator skills, knowledge of safety and overall professionalism. In front of thousands of visitors at IMHX 2016, each competitor completed four tests – two practical assessments (Fun Factory and Explosive Mixer sponsored by Pyroban, DOLAV and Racking & Storage Solutions), a knowledge assessment (sponsored by Transaid), and successful completion of a pre-use inspection (sponsored by TruckLOG). Over the four days, 40 competitors attempted to achieve the best score, with the top two operators from each day’s heat receiving automatic qualification for the Grand Final.
“With female forklift drivers reaching the Grand Final, I hope that businesses can see how encouraging more women into logistics will help the industry to thrive in the future,” says Laura. “I also hope that more women are made aware that this sector offers fantastic careers that they can excel in.”
Laura continues “We wish Samantha, Emily and all the other Grand Finalists the very best of luck in the next phase of the competition.”
For further information on the competition, click here.
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