IRTE Skills Challenge winners announced

The 2022 winners of the IRTE Skills Challenge were announced in a ceremony at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire, on 8 September.

The winners were ranked the highest in a series of mechanical, electrical and bodywork tests that took place in June at S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol. The event marks the 11th time that the competition took place.

The Outstanding Qualified Team Award goes to the team of qualified technicians who had the highest-scoring overall performance. Winners were First Bus’s Ian Hemsworth, Steve Price and Andy Knowles.

Winners of the apprentice team award were also from First Bus, Matthew Tetley, Tahir Mansley and Sean Bell.

The qualified mechanical technician award went to Steve Price at First Bus; the electrical technician award to Andy Knowles at First Bus and bodywork technician award to Ben Evans from Go-Ahead.

The Mechelec category is open to apprentices at least on year three of their training. Those nominated in this category compete in technical tests based on the joint mechanical and electrical skills base. The award reflects the industry’s growing need for multi-skilled technicians who are proficient in both disciplines. This year’s winner was Arnold Duran Cuadros of Go-Ahead.

The mechanical apprentice winner was Jack Jackson of East Yorkshire Buses; the electrical apprentice winner was Danielle Curtis of East Yorkshire Buses and bodywork apprentice award went to Ryan Harn of First Bus.

The DVSA inspection technician award went to Alex Coombs of Go-Ahead and the DVSA inspection apprentice award went to Kyran Taylor of East Yorkshire Buses.

A new award for 2022 was the Judges’ Choice Award, which recognises an individual or team that excelled in the year’s competition. The winners were Kieron Briggs, David McIntyre and Shaun Kenneally from Lothian Buses.

Two years ago the competition launched a new category, Skills Challenge Masters, which welcomes back previous winners to compete in a best-of-the-best showdown. This category awards technicians who show versatility and excellence in every aspect of their role. The winner was Craig Perkins of National Express.

The Philip Margrave Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement went to Richard Belton of S&B Automotive Academy.

Premium sponsors of the event were Alexander Dennis, FCL, Knorr-Bremse, Shell Lubricants and Teng Tools. Sponsors were Imperial Engineering and Premier Pits. DVSA was a supporter of the event.

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