Industry body champions the next generation of automotive talent

Industry body, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), is continuing to champion automotive talent by taking 24 finalists to this year’s Worldskills UK Live competition in Birmingham.

With a clear focus on working with the motor retail sector to address the ever-widening skills gap, the IMI’s Skill Auto competition sets out to find the best apprentices across a number of different skills. A series of heats ran throughout the year, with the finalists now heading to Worldskills UK Live where they will undergo intensive competition over 3 days to find the best of the best.  

Worldskills UK Live is the largest skills and careers event in the country, designed to help shape the future of a new generation. Attracting nearly 80,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find out more about the world of work. It also provides the setting for competitions for a wide range of skills, with the winners standing a chance of being selected for World Skills in Shanghai, China.  

This year finalists in the IMI Skill Auto competition come from right across the UK and will be demonstrating their skills in all the key competencies required in the automotive sector. The IMI currently offers 16 different Apprenticeship Standards, recently launching three new ones for automotive repair professionals, demonstrating its commitment to help industry employers attract, develop and retain talent in motor careers.

Mark Armitage, Head of Membership Products & Services at the IMI said: “The motor retail sector remains one of the strongest advocates of apprenticeships, which means we have an exciting array of talent who will be competing at the IMI Skill Auto competition. As motoring technology evolves, with demand for lower emissions, connected vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles, the skills gap continues to widen. It is, therefore, vital that we continue to champion the best of the new talent coming into the sector through competitions like IMI Skill Auto.

“We are also excited to be in a forum at Worldskills UK Live so that young people can understand just how exciting the automotive sector is. They will see cutting edge techniques and processes being carried out by our finalists, proving that the automotive sector provides a truly 21st century career path.”

IMI Skill Auto 2019 Finalists


  • Aubrey Whiteside - Riverpark Training, David Irvine sprayers - 18
  • Josh Millar - Transport Training Services, Wright Bus - 21
  • Craig Kennedy - Riverpark Training, Howells ARC  - 19
  • Nathan Palfrey - Babcock Technical Academy, Cooper BMW York - 22
  • Jack Groves - Volvo TDC, STURGESS bodycraft - 18
  • Josh Jones - NPTC Group - Pontardawe College, Scuffed Up - 19

Heavy Vehicle

  • Claire Weller - Skillnet , Adams Morey Portsmouth - 21
    John Dudley - Skillnet, MOTUS COMMERCIALS - 25
  • James Hillocks - Stevenson College, Mc truck and bus  - 21
    David Bodie - Stevenson College, Hartshorne motor services - 40
  • Matthew Hands - Skillnet, Brian Currie Bedford  - 21
  • Keith Kelly - South West College - Omagh Campus, B mc caffrey and sons  - 25

Body Repair

  • Connor Davison - Riverpark Training and Development - 21
  • Chris McCarley - Riverpark Training and Development, Charles Hurst ARC - 21
  • Graeme Nevin - Riverpark Training and Development, Wright's accident repair centre - 18
  • Dominic Mills - Training 2000 Limited, HBPanelcraft  - 20
  • Matthew Sutton - Training 2000 Limited, Abbot's Car Repairs Ltd - 18
  • Rowen Small - Remit Training, Apollo motor group Cheltenham  - 20

Light Vehicle

  • Ruairi Barrow  - (Completed apprenticeship), Donnelly brothers JLR - 26
  • Robert Pallant Bright - Skillnet, Lookers Ford - 24
  • Jake Hubbard  - Skillnet, Forest Gate - 23
  • Matthew Bundy - Skillnet, Hendy Ford - 19
  • Harry Chaundy - GTG Training, Arnold Clark - 19
  • Christopher Wright - ProVq Ltd, RRG Toyota Stockport  - 23