Students in driving seat at Auto competitions

SkillAuto is the automotive industry’s arm of WorldSkills UK, an organisation championing skills and learning for work through competitions and awards. The SkillAuto Welsh heats were part funded by WorldSkills UK and the competition sponsors; Wurth, Morelli and IMI Awards. SkillAuto is the primary route in to the squad selection for Team UK for the AutoBody Repair, AutoPaint Refinishing and Automobile Technology WorldSkills competitions which gives young people the opportunity to represent their country at the bi-ennial WorldSkills International Competitions. 

The College’s Automotive Academy hosted the three competitions across three days, which were run by The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), where competitors from across Wales performed practical tasks in their disciplines. The highest scoring technicians in each of these disciplines; Body Repair, Paint Refinishing and Light Vehicle Repair, from across all the SkillAuto regional heats around the UK will then compete in the SkillAuto UK Final at the NEC in Birmingham in November. Qualifying competitors who score highly at the UK Final will be put forward to be considered for the squad representing the UK at the WorldSkills 2013 competition which is to be held in Leipzig, Germany.

Eight students of the Automotive Academy at Cardiff and Vale College competed in the three SkillAuto competitions, beating 1200 entrants to take part; these were Matthew Bailey, 18; Jordan Thomas, 18; Matthew Jones, 20; Lewis Reader, 20; Daniel Coles, 22; Brett Davies, 21; Christan Sanders, 19; and Rhys Morris 23. In the Body Repair heat Cardiff and Vale College took the top three places, continuing the success throughout the week with first, third and fourth positions in the Paint Refinishing competition and placing first in the Light Vehicle Repair discipline.   

Winner of the Body Repair Welsh heat, Matthew Bailey, from Landore is a second year apprentice at RGM Vehicle body repair in Swansea, where he works alongside his older brother. He recently won the Skills Competition Wales Autobody Repair competition, backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund. The Level 2 Vehicle Body Repair student said: “I didn’t expect to win. I’m speechless. I thought it was just luck that I won the Skills Competition Wales. Being involved in these competitions has given me confidence in my abilities and makes me feel like I’m good at my job. I now hope to compete at national level and hopefully I will be good enough to then represent the UK at the WorldSkills 2013 competition.”       

David Massie, Skills Competition Manager, The Institute of the Motor Industry said: “The standard across all three competitions was exceptional. All the competitions were extremely close but it was the way in which Matthew, Dan and Rhys applied their skill and ability to each task that separated them from the other candidates. The IMI would like to express their gratitude to the College for also hosting all three competitions in their Automotive Academy.” 

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Notes to editors:

  • WorldSkills UK is a portfolio of skills competition activity managed by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with organisations from industry and education. WorldSkills UK is promoted through a range of organisations and is supported by a network of champions. For further information on WorldSkills UK, please visit:
  • SkillAuto is a partner company of registered charity WorldSkills UK. They are a ‘not for profit’ organisation, whose primary objective is to ensure technical standards and expertise within the UK’s automotive industry are constantly developed in line with employer’s requirements. For further information on SkillAuto, please visit:

Barry College and Coleg Glan Hafren have been well-respected further education colleges that have served individuals, employers and the communities across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan for up to 50 years. These two established institutions merged in August 2011 to form Cardiff and Vale College.

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Ffion Chard, Marketing Officer,
Cardiff and Vale College
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