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Skills Show UK hosts IRTE HGV Skills Challenge for the first time

HGV technicians were represented for the first time at last month’s Skills Show UK, which took place at the Birmingham NEC on 19-21 November 2015.

The event attracted more than 100,000 visitors and 1,000 competitors from skilled disciplines ranging from floristry to aircraft engineering and, for the first time this year, HGV technicians and apprentices were given the chance to showcase their skills.

Organised by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and supported by IRTE, the HGV demonstration challenge was based on IMI’s existing automotive competitions, which cover technology, body repair, and refinishing.

Both apprentices and newly qualified technicians competed in the challenge – two from Iveco and three from Volvo, both sponsors of the inaugural event who supplied a tipper and tractor unit for the competition respectively. One winner from each sponsor was chosen and the top scoring competitors were last year apprentice Aidan Kilkenny from Volvo and irtec qualified apprentice Daniel Cadd from Iveco.

Competitors were required to identify and fix suspension and brake system faults in each vehicle over two days, in test bays designed to mimic workshop environments including engine and transmission rigs.

Helping to judge the event was John Eastman EngTech CEnv FSOE FIRTE, chair of the IRTE Professional Sector Council, who said that the Skills Show UK provides a major opportunity for attracting engineering talent and getting HGV apprenticeships on the map.


“Being involved in an event like this further reinforces IRTE as the voice of road transport engineering,” he says. “It also represents a valuable opportunity for engineering professionals and industry representatives to see first-hand the level of expertise in heavy goods vehicles.”

The HGV competition this year was aimed at attracting additional sponsors, competitors, and supporters for next year’s entry into the 2016 Skills Show UK event, and the HGV competition will again mirror the IMI’s other competition streams: entrants must first complete an online test before 18-20 individuals are chosen to taken part in in-person heats. From these, six are chosen to represent the HGV sector at the Skills Show UK event.

Of the 1,000+ competitors who take part in the main event, one overall winner is chosen to represent the UK during the World Skills competition, which in 2017 will be held in Abu Dhabi. After this year’s demo HGV event, competitors in next year’s HGV competition will be eligible to compete for this prestigious opportunity.

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