SkillAuto will be hosting a number of regional heats to find the best young technicians in the UK.
The aim of SkillAuto is to identify and promote the talent of young people working in the automotive industry, who might then have the opportunity to compete with the best from across the world at the WorldSkills event.
SkillAuto runs competitions across three disciplines; autobody repair, car painting and light vehicle (service and maintenance).
The top 24 technicians in the light vehicle category will compete in regional heats being held at five locations across the country where they will be asked to perform six practical tasks assessed to Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) standards.
Those in the autobody repair and paint categories will compete at regional heats in Blackburn, Berkshire and Glasgow. The finals of all three disciplines will then take place at Thatcham in June.
Lesley Upham, director of commercial development at Thatcham and chair of the SkillAuto steering committee, said: “The record number of entries received for this year’s competitions highlights the number of young technicians who want to prove that they are the best in their field.
“These competitions allow young people to demonstrate their passion and ability and help to build confidence. We hope that some of those competing in the regional heats this year can then go onto the WorldSkills event taking place in London in 2011.”
The highest scorers from last year’s SkillAuto competitions: Daniel Cain in the autobody repair category; Zac McLaughlan, and Ben Eaton for car painting; Paul Abbey and Dean Jones in the automobile technology (light vehicle) category have already been named to join the UK squad.
They will now undergo extensive training leading up to the final squad selection in June when the team is chosen to represent the UK at the next WorldSkills event in Calgary in September.
Lesley Woolley, head of professional development, who manages SkillAuto activity at the IMI added: “Congratulations to Daniel, Zac, Ben, Paul and Dean on their selection to the UK squad for WorldSkills and we wish them luck in the final selection process.
"The SkillAuto competitions continue to show the high skill levels needed to work in the motor industry and deliver long overdue status and respect to young people working in the sector.”