Search begins for top truck technicians and apprentices in IRTE competition

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The hunt is under way for the UK’s top heavy goods vehicle (HGV) technicians and apprentices as online registrations for the Heavy Vehicle Engineering Competition open.

Sponsored by IRTE, the Heavy Vehicle Engineering Competition is part of Skills Show UK, the UK’s largest skills competition, championing apprentices and technical skills.

Last year’s event, held at the Birmingham NEC in November, attracted 1,000 competitors from disciplines ranging from floristry to aircraft engineering.  The Heavy Vehicle Engineering Competition premiered at the show in 2015 during a special demonstration challenge showcasing HGV talent for the first time.

Organised by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the competition is based on IMI’s existing automotive competitions, which cover technology, body repair, and refinishing. 

Five apprentices and newly qualified technicians representing event sponsors Iveco and Volvo took part in last year’s event. Competitors were required to identify and fix suspension and brake faults in a tipper and tractor unit over two days, in test bays designed to mimic workshop environments. 

The joint first place winners were irtec-accredited apprentice Daniel Cadd from Iveco and final year apprentice Aidan Kilkenny from Volvo. 

Cadd said: “It was nerve-wracking. There are so many people watching you, and I was worried about making a simple mistake under pressure. It was also a massive learning experience.”

Davie Massie, competition manager for the IMI, added: “With the addition of a heavy vehicle competition, this year more than ever will showcase to young people the range of skills and knowledge needed to work across the automotive sector. I encourage anyone who employs or trains talented, young people to nominate them for the competition. Whether they win a medal or not, participating will provide them with valuable experience and increased self-confidence.”  

Individuals can enter via, or with the support of, their training provider or employer. Registration closes on 7 April at 5pm and nominees must be working towards or have achieved a level 3 qualification in the last 12 months.

Entrants must successfully complete an online test before 18 individuals are chosen to participate in live heats, which will take place on 20-22 June in Winsford, Cheshire. Of these, the top six will be selected to represent the HGV sector at Skills Show UK 2016 in November.  Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded and eligible competitors will have the opportunity to progress to a selection squad for Team UK who will compete in Kasan, Russia in 2019.

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