The UK’s largest group of accident repair centres, FMG Repair Services, has joined forces with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to sponsor the IMI Skills Competition finals. The annual competition showcases the tremendous technical talent within the motor industry and recognises the most gifted young apprentices working in the automotive sector today.
Richard Hutchins Competitions Manager at the IMI said:
“The role of the automotive technician today is a highly skilled, technical job requiring specialist training as the technological advancement of vehicles continues at pace. By working with FMG Repair Services, which operates its own dedicated apprenticeship scheme and fully understands the importance of skills development, we can showcase the incredible talent pool within our next generation of automotive experts.”
The two-day final at Cardiff and Vale College takes place in a ‘live environment’ in November and sees 24 students and apprentices selected from hundreds of UK applicants, demonstrating their skills across a range of hands-on technical tasks over four streams of competition: Automotive Technology, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Refinishing and Heavy Vehicle Technology.
“It is so important to provide a clear programme of education alongside on-the-job training for the next generation of automotive technicians”, added Chris MacHardy, Talent Lead, FMG Repair Services. “The Competition is a critical vehicle for demonstrating the highpoint of UK apprentices’ hard work and dedication to the automotive industry. Sponsoring the Finals hugely aligns to our vision of proactively inspiring, supporting and training the next generation of industry professionals. Finding ways to shine a light on our ever-changing sector and demonstrating the skills standards and innovation we are proud to boast, provides a small lens on where the automotive industry is heading, which is paramount in broadening interest and bringing new people into the industry.”
Those finalists who are crowned as the UK’s top new talent will then go forward for a chance of representing their country at WorldSkills Lyon 2024, which aims to inspire young people and promote the perception of vocational education and training.
“Some of the students and apprentices competing in next month’s final started their automotive career during Covid and all of them began their journey within the motor industry in an economically tumultuous time”, concluded Richard Hutchins.
“Having come through a rocky start, all of our finalists should be incredibly proud of themselves. The fact that the winners may then go on to represent the UK Motor Technician sector in a global competition is the icing on the cake.”