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IMI announces Skills Competitions competitors ahead of national final

Technician trains on an EV

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced the 24 IMI Skills Competitions finalists that will compete at the live national finals in November.

The 24 finalists were decided following the conclusion of the National Qualifier events that took place across the UK during May and June.

Nominated by their tutor or employer, top scoring apprentices took part in the National Qualifiers where expert judges selected students and apprentices from four key specialisms – Body Repair, Refinishing, Light Vehicle Technology, and Heavy Vehicle Technology.

The live national finals will be held in November at 10 colleges and training providers across Greater Manchester.

The winners will be announced at a medal ceremony at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with the chance to go on to represent Team UK in EuroSkills 2025 at Herning in Denmark and WorldSkills International 2026 in Shanghai, China.

Richard Hutchins, IMI Skills Competitions Manager, said: “The six finalists from each stream impressed the judges with their level of skill, dedication and focus.

“And many of the 2023 finalists face additional learning and work challenges, living with dyslexia, autism and dyscalculia, making their success even more impressive.

“Automotive is often believed to be unsuitable for those who are neurodiverse or have disabilities, but these inspirational finalists prove otherwise.

“They are succeeding to the highest level in our increasingly inclusive and rich sector.”

The IMI said automotive is facing a 20-year high of 26,000 vacancies, and the IMI’s new Perceptions Campaign – Things Are Moving - aims to discredit outdated misperceptions that are at the heart of the recruitment challenges.

Hutchins said: “As a sector, we urgently need to come together to change the long-held negative perceptions and encourage more people to consider automotive careers.

“We need to fill around 112,000 roles in the next decade, spanning more than 200 occupations and these awards highlight the vast array of opportunities available, as well as the inspiring trainees and apprentices that will help to take automotive forward and ensure it evolves to be richer, more diverse, to best serve our customers.”

The 2023 finalists

Refinishing    
Name Training provider / college Employer
Oisin Mckerr Southern Regional Collage Porters Bodyshop
Maksim Makutonovic   Wrights
Lewis Brayford Doncaster, Rotherham and District GTA BCA fleet solutions
Victoria Steele NPTC Pontardawe Sinclair
Declan James Phillips GTA Doncaster BCA Fleet Solutions
Thomas Fearnhead Training 2000 Auto Spray Darwen
     
Body Repair    
Name Training provider / college Employer
Robert Gray Riverpark Training Howell Accident Repair Centre
Jonathan Johnston Riverpark Training Tbr NI
Alec Archie Macleod Edinburgh College Sitehill Highland Motors ltd
Jordan Lingham NPTC Pontardawe Sinclairs
Adrian Matthews S&B Automotive Academy Ultimate Accident Repair Services
Aiden Lee Cheetham Blackpool and the Fylde College The Vella Group
     
Light Vehicle Technology    
Name Training provider / college Employer
Oliver Young Perth UHI J&R Auto Services
Elliot Ritchie Calex UK Western Mazda
Jack Robert Johnston Perth UHI JR Auto Services
Ryan Cullen Southwest College AL Services
Ashley Hursey Volkswagen Group National Learning Centre Audi Approved Colchester
Matthew Kemp Volvo UK Ray Chapman Motors
     
Heavy Vehicle Technology    
Name Training provider / college Employer
Ben Turner Skillnet Harris DAF High Wycombe
Aleksander Zielechowski Remit College PCL West Thurrock
Joseph Roberts Fife College Fife Council
Nicholas Garrett Gateshead College South Tyneside Council
Harry Cooper Sparshatt Academy Sparshatts Truck and Van
Jack Fitton Scania Academy Remit Scania

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