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IRTE Skills Challenge 2016: Bus and coach operators invited to take up the challenge

Bus and coach operators looking to test their skills against the best in the business have until 31 March to sign up to the IRTE Skills Challenge 2016.

This exciting annual event invites operators from the UK and Ireland to test the skills of their technicians and apprentices against each other in a series of mechanical, electrical, and bodywork tasks. The competition, which involves theoretical and practical assessments, is supported by the DVSA who have played a significant role in developing some of the tests and assessments.

Testing will take place at S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol the week commencing 6 June 2016, and bus and coach operators are invited to enter teams of three technicians/apprentices by 31 March 2016.

Top-performing technicians and apprentices have the chance to win some generous prizes from Teng Tools as well as a year’s free membership of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers, organisers of the event. The following awards ceremony in July, during which the winners will be announced, is a unique chance to reward and recognise those who keep our buses and coaches on the road, round the clock.

Since it was founded in 2011, the competition has been an invaluable way for operators to benchmark the skills of their staff against those of other big-name operators, and demonstrate their commitment to safety, compliance, and training innovation.

Matthew Millington, fleet operations manager for competition sponsor Bridgestone, believes excellence in any road transport organisation begins with those who work directly with the vehicles involved. He explains: “If you ask me about the technicians who work in my industry, any manager will tell you that the most important part of it is the guys on the ground, and this competition is about the guys on the ground – if they are doing their job correctly, there are fewer problems that go up the tree. So it is imperative that the quality of the guys on the ground is what matters, and that’s what these awards focus on.”

The IRTE Skills Challenge is sponsored by Allison Transmission, Bridgestone, Groeneveld, Knorr-Bremse, and Shell, and entry to the competition is free.

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