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Midlands and Southern England the last of the National Finals a great success

The RTITB Operator of the Year Competition Midlands & Southern England National Final took place last week on Wednesday 15th June; the event was hosted by TNT Express Services UK & Ireland in Tamworth.

The competitors took part in two practical tests (The BBC and The Platinum Ring), a pre use check and a theory test, and they were marked on a "penalties" basis, the competitor with the lowest number of penalties after all finalists had completed the tests was crowned Midlands & Southern England National Champion.

The event was attended by employers, accredited organisations, instructors and the general public all of whom expressed that they had thoroughly enjoyed the day. Entertainment was provided alongside the testing for all attendees. There was a caricature artist there for all visitors to take away a special memento of the day, and a Nintendo Wii competition to which a prize was presented for the fastest lap. There was also a 360° visual training simulator on site provided by Mission Room.

The day concluded with the announcement of the Midlands & Southern England National Champion by Andrew Wetters, Senior Policy Advisor for HSE’s Workplace Transport Team, who gave a very informative speech about Health and Safety in the workplace before congratulating all of the competitors, employers and training organisations that were present on the day and represented the industry so well.

John Lawson Jnr from Nuneaton was crowned as the Midlands & Southern England National Champion. John is employed and trained by TNT Fashion Group based in Lutterworth. The champion received a red Buyagift voucher and a trophy sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK, he will also go forward to the Grand Final on Friday 16th September where he will compete for the chance to be RTITB Operator of the Year 2011. John highlighted how he had really enjoyed the day. When asked about progressing to the Grand final he said "It’s absolutely fabulous that I’ve got through to the next stage and I’m really looking forward to it".

The 1st runner up on the day was announced as Colin Price, from Telford. Colin works for Cables to go and was trained by AES Training Services. He received an orange Buyagift voucher and will also go through to the grand final. Colin said the following of the day "It was excellently choreographed and organised, the facilities at TNT were outstanding, and the competitors were a great bunch of guys and girls. I was shocked to get 2nd place" it took Colin a few seconds to realise his name had been called out "I was very surprised and am chuffed to have been selected for the Grand Final. Colin would also like to thank everybody that made the day possible.

The 2nd runner up was Chris Potten who is trained by Apex Training Services, and employed by Moorhouse and Mohan Ltd. He received a jade Buyagift voucher. All competitors were given certificates on the day to highlight their achievement of getting through to the National Final stage.

The RTITB Operator of the Year 2011 is sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK and TNT Express Services UK and Ireland.

The trucks that were used in the finalist testing were supplied by Toyota Material Handling UK and were Toyota 7FBMF electric powered counterbalance trucks, with a 3 ton lift capacity and a 4.3m FSV mast.
The logistics for the event were supplied by TNT Express Services UK & Ireland and was driven by their Fleet Driver of the Year.

The National Final stage of the competition is now over and all that remains is the Grand Final to determine who will be crowned as the RTITB Operator of the Year. The Grand Final is taking place on September 16th 2011 at RTITB’s headquarters in Telford, Shropshire.

The Grand Final is open to the public; however attendance (via www.rtitb.co.uk/fltcompetition) should be registered in advance as places are limited.

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