SOE News

Birmingham finals await Skills Show heat winners

18th Aug 2017

The NEC in Birmingham awaits the winners of the Skills Show heavy vehicle heats which took place at the Volvo Academy at Stephenson College in Leicestershire this summer.

The national heats, held over the course of three days, pitted 18 of the most talented young trainees working in the automotive sector against each other, with the six top-scoring technicians qualifying for the finals in November.

Some of the tasks included the checking and measuring of a crank shaft, a full vehicle inspection, fault tracing the starting and charging system, and brake test. Each technician completed six tasks over the course of the day.

The competition is designed, in part, to tackle the ongoing skills shortage currently facing the engineering profession, by helping educate teachers and parents about the role of the modern engineer.

SOE Chief Executive Ian Chisholm says that it is important to continue to support the Skills Show through the IRTE professional sector, given the fresh incentive given to employers through the apprenticeship levy.

He said: “Our sponsorship of the Skills Show Heavy Vehicle sector gives us the opportunity to show how the IRTE support transport engineers, with a focus on safety and best practice. It is our intention to help guide young engineers at an early stage in their career and present the options available in the HGV sector.”

According to Skills Competition Manager at IMI, David Massie, the heats are designed to recreate the modern working environment for HGV technicians, adding the pressure of competition through time constraints for each task and people watching from the viewing area.

David said: “The Skills Show is helping rid this industry of negative stereotypes; not necessarily those held by young people, but with those advising them whom often hold outdated views on working conditions and career prospects. The reality is that an HGV apprenticeship can present many options and provide a fantastic platform for career progression.

“Now the finalists will be competing in the huge Birmingham arena in front of big crowds, where they will be able to demonstrate their abilities and show people what their role now demands,” said David.

The six finalists who will be invited to the finals in Birmingham will be announced soon. The winner of the finals will go on to represent the UK at the World Skills in Abu Dhabi.

For more information on the biggest skills, apprenticeships, and careers event in the UK, World Skills, go to: www.worldskillsuk.org/the-skills-show

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