A New South Wales forklift apprentice has won an educational tour to the US in Toyota Material Handing Australia's (TMHA's) annual 2-day National Skills Competition.
Andrew Borsato from TMHA's Coffs Harbour branch won the apprentice section of the contest, which culminated in a one-day practical and theory test at the company's Moorebank (Sydney) headquarters.
His prize is a study trip to Raymond Corp's Forklift headquarters in Greene, New York State.
Raymond is one of three key warehouse product lines in the Toyota Material Handling range, along with Toyota forklifts and BT Lift Trucks.
Andrew Borsato is the second apprentice forklift technician from the NSW North Coast to win the award in three years, with TMHA's Lismore branch producing the 2009 winner.
In Toyota's skills contest for fully qualified forklift technicians, three winners won a $2,000 voucher each for skills development - as the top specialists on the three equipment brands within the Toyota Material Handling group.
Shaun Xerri from TMHA Sydney won the Toyota Industrial Equipment final, after last year winning the BT Lift Truck section.
Andrew Redmore from TMH (Melbourne) was first in this year's BT skills contest and TMHA Sydney's Chris Attard won the Raymond skills final.
Almost 200 TMHA service technicians and apprentices from around Australia completed two forklift-service theory tests to determine the final nine technicians and six apprentices who would compete in the finals at Sydney.
TMHA technical advisor/trainer Gerry Larney said the annual TMHA skills competition has been running for more than 20 years.
"The contest is designed to keep Toyota forklift technicians at the pinnacle of industry standards," he said.
"Toyota has always been at the forefront of forklift technician training in this country - and in fact pioneered specialist TAFE training for Australia's forklift technicians.
"We see the skills contest as having a direct benefit for our forklift customers, because a high skills standard among our technicians increases both customer satisfaction and workplace safety," Mr Larney said.