The next generation of automotive talent in the spotlight as IMI Skills Competitions finalists announced for WorldSkills UK

wWorld skills

The most talented automotive apprentices set their sights on November competition

Demonstrating resilience and commitment – and overcoming the challenges of 2020-21 - more than 20 automotive apprentices who entered the IMI Skills Competitions have been shortlisted for this year’s WorldSkills UK competition. Culminating in a series of finals across the UK this November, over 400 students and apprentices across 64 disciplines will battle it out to be crowned national skills champions.

The IMI Skills Competitions aim to throw a spotlight on the most talented young automotive apprentices.  Designed to raise standards, esteem and levels of expertise in technical skills right across the sector, nominees were asked to complete a 30 minute multiple choice quiz with the top scorers invited to sit an online knowledge test in the National Qualifiers which took place over the summer. 24 hard-working automotive apprentices were then selected from the qualifiers to take part in the WorldSkills competition.

Commenting on the announcement, Joanna Hollingdale, Careers & Student Membership Manager at the Institute of the Motor Industry said: “The enthusiasm and commitment to their skills development shown by the competitors in the IMI Skills Competitions this year has been amazing.  Despite lockdowns, reduced opportunities for hands-on learning and the general uncertainty of the pandemic, they have stepped up and demonstrated their focus, and fully deserve the opportunity to compete in the WorldSkills finals this November.”

This year sees the finals taking place in locations across the UK for the first time, from 9-19 November. From the Industrial Robotics final in Ballymena, to Heavy Vehicle Engineering in Cardiff, Cyber Security in Lanarkshire and Web Design in Somerset, the 25 venues cover all four corners of the UK. The finalists will compete for gold, silver and bronze, with the winners crowned at a ceremony hosted by TV presenter Steph McGovern from her Packed Lunch studio on Friday 26 November. 

Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, WorldSkills UK said: “I want to offer my congratulations to all those who took part in our programme this year, especially the finalists. After a year without competitions due to the pandemic it was really encouraging to see so many people back involved. 

“Our competitions and competition-based development programmes equip apprentices and students with the lifelong, world-class skills that will help increase UK productivity and competitiveness. 

“We are really excited to be taking the show on the road with finals hosted by colleges, training providers and employers across the UK. We hope seeing the finals will inspire young people at those venues to keep developing their technical and employability skills and recognise what can be achieved by developing excellence through skills.” 

The WorldSkills UK competition-based development programmes are designed by industry experts and enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses by assessing an individual’s employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive timed environment. The programme has a real impact on those taking part, with 90% of previous entrants saying their career progression improved after competing and 86% stating their personal and employability skills had improved. 

The Automotive finalists are:

Automotive Body Repair

Lewis Hastings Cardiff and Vale College
Harry Cooper Cardiff and Vale College
Joel Windsor Cardiff and Vale College
Craig Kernohan Riverpark Training
Simon Sloan Riverpark Training
Tiler Moorcroft Jones Riverpark Training

Automotive Refinishing

Ryan Lowrey Blackpool and The Fylde College
Stephen Halsall Blackpool and The Fylde College
Sion Lewis Cardiff and Vale College
Tom Venn Cardiff and Vale College
Callum Roberts Cardiff and Vale College
Dominic Duance Cardiff and Vale College

Automotive Technology

Luke Merchant Weston College 
Alexander Mills Babcock Training Ltd
Olly Brown Lanzante
Liam  Ward True Test Motors Limited
Ian Robertson Fife College
Damian Tchorzewski Edinburgh College

Heavy Vehicle Technology

Abhaydeep Gulati Ford & Slater
Andrew Hill Motus Commercials
Daniel Buckingham Skillnet
Jignesh Khimani Skillnet
Mark McAdams Fife Council
Daniel Parker  Adams Morey Ltd