From education to employment

IMI Skills Competitions Finalists Announced

24 students and apprentices go forward to compete for a place in the national finals

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced the IMI Skills Competitions finalists 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 24 students and apprentices from four key specialisms – Body RepairRefinishing, Light Vehicle Technology, and Heavy Vehicle Technology. The finalists now go forward to the live national finals in November to be held 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.

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

Automotive is facing a 20-year high of 26,000 vacancies, and the IMI’s new game-changing Perceptions Campaign – Things Are Moving – aims to discredit outdated misperceptions that are at the heart of the recruitment challenges. “As a sector, we urgently need to come together to change the long-held negative perceptions and encourage more people to consider automotive careers”, added Richard Hutchins. “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

NameTraining provider / collegeEmployer
Oisin MckerrSouthern Regional CollagePorters Bodyshop
Maksim Makutonovic Wrights
Lewis BrayfordDoncaster, Rotherham and District GTABCA fleet solutions
Victoria SteeleNPTC PontardaweSinclair
Declan James PhillipsGTA DoncasterBCA Fleet Solutions
Thomas FearnheadTraining 2000Auto Spray Darwen
Body Repair
NameTraining provider / collegeEmployer
Robert GrayRiverpark TrainingHowell Accident Repair Centre
Jonathan JohnstonRiverpark TrainingTbr NI
Alec Archie MacleodEdinburgh College SitehillHighland Motors ltd
Jordan LinghamNPTC PontardaweSinclairs
Adrian MatthewsS&B Automotive AcademyUltimate Accident Repair Services
Aiden Lee CheethamBlackpool and the Fylde CollegeThe Vella Group
Light Vehicle Technology
NameTraining provider / collegeEmployer
Oliver YoungPerth UHIJ&R Auto Services
Elliot RitchieCalex UKWestern Mazda
Jack Robert JohnstonPerth UHIJR Auto Services
Ryan CullenSouthwest CollegeAL Services
Ashley HurseyVolkswagen Group National Learning CentreAudi Approved Colchester
Matthew KempVolvo UKRay Chapman Motors
Heavy Vehicle Technology
NameTraining provider / collegeEmployer
Ben TurnerSkillnetHarris DAF High Wycombe
Aleksander ZielechowskiRemit CollegePCL West Thurrock
Joseph RobertsFife CollegeFife Council
Nicholas GarrettGateshead CollegeSouth Tyneside Council
Harry CooperSparshatt AcademySparshatts Truck and Van
Jack FittonScania Academy RemitScania

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