Westgate dad Steven scoops industry award after just 15 months in his role

Steven with bosses Lisa and Stuart

From running pubs and organising Totally Wired music events to a year-long adventure in Australia – Westgate dad-of-two Steven Sadler has had a varied career.

And now the 33-year-old, who was once the youngest person in the country to obtain an alcohol licence, has scooped a top award in his newest career path.

Steven, who lives in Westgate with partner Natasha and kids Ella, nine, and Oscar, two, has won ‘Instructor of the Year’ at the Talent in Logistics awards, sponsored by the System Group.

The former Lanthorne pub landlord has been working at Kent Forklift Training, which recently moved from Broadstairs to new units at Manston, since June 2019.

He took the job in a bid for a better work/life balance than the pub trade could offer after returning from Australia from a year working for Kitchen Food Company.

The Oz trip in 2016 came in a tragic year for Steven and his family after his sister Natasha and her friend Simon Gorecki were fatally stabbed by mechanic Christian Foster after a row about hot water spiralled out of control. Natasha’s two sons were also seriously injured by Foster. Foster was later sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

A return to England came when Steven and partner Natasha found they were expecting a new baby.

He said: “It looked like a job that interested me, especially in terms of lifestyle as for the first time since 2003 I would get Christmas off! I thought I was good with people and had hospitality skills and background, so why not? I took a sizable pay cut to switch jobs but it allowed me to have more quality time at home with my family. I can always earn more money but I can never use that money to buy time back that I would miss out on.

“I had an interview with Stuart and Lisa Ainslie (firm owners) and then a second one where I was asked to deliver a 15 minute micro lesson on any subject. In June 2019 I was employed by Kent Forklift Training and put on a two week instructor course. Fast forward 15 months and I was presented with a national award for instructor of the year by Talent in Logistics.

“I love my job and the team I work with all made me very welcome. Machinery operators have to be very safe and responsible in how they perform so knowing we we are making it a little bit safer in our part of the world makes me feel proud. To be able to come this far in 15 months is amazing and I am absolutely elated. To go up against some of the biggest companies in the UK and fellow nominees for the award was amazing but it was out of this world to go one step further and win it.”

This year the awards had to be held online due to the pandemic but Steven’s certificate and trophy will be delivered shortly.

Company boss Lisa added: “We and the rest of the company are absolutely thrilled with this amazing achievement. He’s only been with us a little over a year and has worked so hard to achieve this award.

“As times are tough for people at the moment with losing jobs, we would like to mark this award with a special offer on forklift courses held at our training centre. We know from speaking with employment agencies that there is a lot of work available in the warehouse sector, they just need a forklift operators certificate- this is where we can help.”

Kent Forklift Training is offering novice and refresher courses in November and December at reduced prices.

Find out more by calling the company on 01843 603 199 email  [email protected]

Or visit the website at https://www.kentforklifttraining.co.uk/index.html