Enter a team in the Skills Challenge today

The IRTE Skills Challenge for bus and coach technicians returns to S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol in early June. It’s a great chance for technicians to test their own knowledge and potentially win valuable industry recognition. Here are three reasons why bus and coach operators should put forward a team.

First, show them you care. While contestants may find the experience demanding, it demonstrates your faith in their ability, which is a great confidence-booster. And with its many competitor categories, the Skills Challenge reflects the wide diversity of experience level (apprentices, skilled technicians, master technicians) and disciplines (mechanical, electrical, mechelec, bodywork) working in the industry today. There’s a spot for everyone.

Second, set a benchmark. How long has it been since your skilled technicians were assessed? How do they compare with technicians in other workshops? How do their particular skills and talents complement others in the workshop? Would extra training on some particular technology or system be worthwhile? Contestants’ performance in the competition’s varied tests can reveal much about their strengths and weaknesses. Equally, team captains’ performance can be judged as well. As the results test skills which are broadly comparable, this means that operators can benefit from tracking performance year after year.

Third, stake your claim. Contestants span the range of bus and coach operators from the biggest – in 2022, First Group teams won big – to small, including another 2022 winner Lothian Buses. Every team is invited to the awards ceremony, and many end up collecting an award from the stage. Smaller operators have a brilliant platform to show how they punch above their weight. Even if they don’t win, they still get the chance to rub shoulders with the best in industry.

For more information, and to enter, go to

Don’t forget the reader survey! The publishers of Transport Engineer have launched an online survey to record readers’ views about the magazine, the website, and their likes and dislikes. As an incentive, one lucky entrant will win £100 in Amazon vouchers. The survey is open now at

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