Opinion Former Article

SOE: Translink to champion N. Irish bus technicians at IRTE Skills Challenge

Joining Arriva, First Group, Go-Ahead, Ipswich Buses, Metroline, National Express and Stagecoach, Translink will enter a team of bus engineers into the bodywork, electrical and mechanical disciplines of the competition, aiming to have their engineers compete with the best in the business.

Translink is the public transport operator for Northern Ireland, covering all of the region's main towns and villages. Technical Training Manager David Carson said:
"It is our aim to ensure our engineering staff are equipped with the necessary knowledge and know-how to maintain and rectify faults on our vehicles. The skills challenge provides an opportunity for staff to promote their professional technical capability, whilst measuring their expertise against the very best in the industry."

The IRTE Skills Challenge will see operators pit their technicians against each other in a bid to see them crowned highest scoring engineers. Six awards will celebrate the vital contribution of bus technicians, to be presented during a Houses of Parliament ceremony in June 2011. Part of career development charity, SOE (Society of Operations Engineers), IRTE supports the development of engineering professionals - from apprentices to company directors.

Leading the Skills Challenge on behalf of the IRTE is Business Development Manager Will Reeves. He said:

"It is great news for both the competition and Translink employees. We know that the company's engineers are an extremely competent group of engineers and this will compliment the calibre of currant entrants. To be the first representatives from Northern Ireland is very exciting and we hope that other operators are quick to take up the few remaining places."

Translink's David Carson added:

"It is a good competition for many reasons; firstly it generates a bit of healthy competition and excitement within our own company. It provides a sense of camaraderie with our peers on the mainland and provides a new angle to the day job for those who enter the competition. This competition can only benefit the organisation through increased confidence of our employees, providing us with a clearer focus on our training needs and generally improve our links with other operators."

More information about the IRTE Skills Challenge, including an easy registration page, is available for Operators and technicians at www.soe.org.uk/irteskills.

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EDITORS NOTES

IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers)

IRTE, one of the most respected names in UK transport, was founded in 1944 and is recognised as an impartial voice of the industry. It encourages high standards of excellence with an emphasis on safety in operation, demonstrated by its research and education programme for members and industry. The IRTE is also a partner in the CV Show, alongside the RHA and SMMT.

IRTE members come from a wide variety of transport-related roles including apprentices and technicians in the light and heavy and bus and coach sectors, workshop managers, fleet engineers, transport managers and company directors.

SOE (Society of Operations Engineers)

SOE is a professional membership organisation that represents around 17,000 individuals and companies in the engineering industry. The SOE has three professional sectors - IRTE, IPlantE and BES (see below for more details).

The Society promotes safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable operations engineering to the benefit of the community at large, through the support of best practice and health and safety initiatives, a commitment to the professional development of its members and by influencing legislation and design.

SOE is a licensed member of the Engineering Council and can register members at all three levels, CEng, IEng and EngTech.

The SOE is online at www.soe.org.uk

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