Opinion Former Article

SOE: Top bus engineers to be named at Westminster

With the practical assessments now completed for the inaugural IRTE Skills Challenge, judges are now marking engineers' papers in preparation for the winners' ceremony at Westminster later this month.

However, IRTE chief executive Nick Jones was left in no doubt that the standard of engineering within the bus industry is second to none. Teams from bus operators Arriva, Ipswich Bus, Translink, Go-Ahead and First Group completed the bodywork, electrical and mechanical disciplines of the competition during two full days testing (1/2 June) at S&B Automotive Academy.

The Bristol-based training provider hosted the competition at its state-of-the-art premises, providing the perfect setting for the bus industry to celebrate and recognise its top technicians. Representatives from key sponsors Allison Transmission, Bridgestone, Cummins, Knorr-Bremse and Shell FuelSave Diesel all attended the event, throwing their full support behind the technicians, who were busily working on their practical assessments.

Six awards will highlight the vital contribution of bus technicians, and winners will be announced during a prestigious ceremony at the Houses of Parliament later this month. Winners will also receive some fantastic prizes, generously donated by key supporter Halfords Trade.

S&B CEO Jon Winter commented:
"The first IRTE Skills challenge went extremely well. The tests were very challenging and the winner will be seen as truly at the pinnacle of their skills. S&B Automotive Academy was extremely proud to be chosen to host this prestigious event, which represented a fantastic showcase for technicians working in the bus and coach sector."

SOE/IRTE CEO Nick Jones said:
"My congratulations firstly go to the technicians taking part in this exciting competition. They really are the unsung heroes of our industry and it is high time their competence is appreciated. These are the people that ensure people nationwide can go to work or school, or to visit family and friends. Bus technicians are vital, and on behalf of the IRTE and our five sponsors, who made this event possible, I thoroughly thank them for their continued excellence in engineering."

The practical challenges in the competition are based upon the UK's foremost technician competence accreditation service, irtec, which was recently re-launched by scheme partners the IRTE and IMI Awards ltd.

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Editor's notes:

For further information or images about the IRTE Skills Challenge/IRTE, please contact:
David Jones
Editorial & PR Coordinator
020 7630 1111
david.jones@soe.org.uk

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