SOE News

Applications now open for IRTE Skills Challenge 2018

31st Jan 2018

The search for top engineering talent begins here as applications for trailblazing competition the IRTE Skills Challenge are now open.

Bus and coach engineers are encouraged to register now as organisers expect places for the week-long testing event to fill up fast.

The 2018 competition, which will take place from 4-8 June, welcomes applications from apprentices and technicians from bus and coach operators nationwide.

SOE Head of Operations Daniel Moir, said: “At a time when the UK needs engineers more than ever, it is vital that we show what modern engineering in the bus and coach sector looks like. To do that, our competition must reflect the ambitions of the PSV operators, intent as they are on recruiting and retaining technicians with the ability to keep our roads safe.”

IRTE round table

The launch of the competition coincided with a round table event attended by several leading engineering directors, to address the key issues facing the sector, including the skills shortage, the Apprenticeship Levy and new technology.

Daniel added: “We are listening to the industry to identify the major issues both in and out of the workshop. What is clear is that there is a vast array of engineering talent in the UK, and this competition gives those who enter an opportunity to boost their own career and inspire others to do the same.”

New Challenges

A new Skills Challenge Masters category will be introduced this year, welcoming back previous winners to compete in a best-of-the-best showdown, with an increased complexity of practical and theoretical tasks.

SOE President Howard Seymour said: “We would encourage all technicians and apprentices working on these vehicles to sign up and show us what they can do. We are proud to grow the competition each year and reach out to industry partners to make sure the PSV sector continues to flourish.”

Dedicated sponsors and supporters

Alexander Dennis, Allison Transmission, BAE Systems, Bridgestone, Groeneveld, Knorr-Bremse, Shell and Teng Tools will all sponsor the Skills Challenge 2018, and each will contribute their expertise to the technical tests, held again at competition partners S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol.

DVSA and MAN will support the event and provide assistance during testing week; both have again collaborated with IRTE in developing the most challenging competition to date.

How to apply

To register your interest, email us at: or call: 020 7630 2171.

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