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Woman scoops top student technician national honours

For the second successive year, a young woman has beaten the opposite sex to the title of Outstanding Technical Student in Light Vehicle at the Institute of the Motor Industry’s national learning and skills awards for 2004.

Christine Walker, 21, who has almost completed her apprenticeship as a technician at McConville & Walker in Wishaw, near Motherwell, won the award for demonstrating skills beyond the level of her training to date. She is actively involved in additional responsibilities within the business, including the training of other staff members on state-of-the-art Sun diagnostic equipment.

Walker says: “Winning this award means so much to me as I have been able to prove my ability in what remains a male dominated industry. I am committed to making a successful career in the automotive business and this national recognition will inspire me to continue my studies, as my ambition is to progress into Formula One motorsport.”

She was nominated by IMI approved centre, ReMIT Scotland, a finalist in the Approved Centre of the Year category, which also included Coleg Glan Hafren, EMTEC and North Lindsey College (see winners below). The IMI has some 300 accredited centres nation-wide which deliver training towards a comprehensive range of automotive qualifications.

Among the winners was 15-year-old Ian Short, from Bicester, who was presented with the IMI’s first Young Student of the Year Award, in recognition of his achievement and progression on the IMI’s Pre-Apprenticeship programme for 14 to 16-year-olds. There are now more than 1,000 pupils registered on the two-year course, studied alongside GCSEs, which is designed to encourage talented young people into the retail motor industry.

The winners of the 2004 IMI Learning and Skills Awards are:

  • IMI Approved Centre of the Year - Coleg Glan Hafren Motor Vehicle Engineering, Cardiff


  • Outstanding Technical Student (Light Vehicle) - Christine Walker, 21, from Newmains, employed at McConville & Walker, Wishaw
  • Outstanding Technical Student (Body Repair/Refinishing) - James Kerry, 20, from Swadlincote, employed at Churchill Accident Repair, Castle Donington
  • Outanding Management Student - Andrew Clayton, 35, from Scunthorpe, employed at F Cross & Son, Scunthorpe
  • Outstanding Student in a non-technical discipline  - Lisa Denton, 19, from North Shields, employed at Colebrook & Burgess
  • Young Student of the Year - Ian Short, 15, from Bicester, who attends Bicester Community College
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