15 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

IMI Skills Competitions finalists named

24 vehicle repair apprentices have been named as the finalists for the IMI Skills Competitions, following a series of National Qualifier events that took place around the UK across May and June.

The 2023 finalists are in the following groups:

Oisin Mckerr: Southern Regional College/Porters Bodyshop
Maksim Makutonovic: Wrights
Lewis Brayford Doncaster, Rotherham and District GTA/ BCA fleet solutions
Victoria Steele: NPTC Pontardawe/ Sinclair
Declan James Phillips: GTA Doncaster/BCA Fleet Solutions
Thomas Fearnhead: Training 2000/Auto Spray Darwen

Body Repair
Robert Gray: Riverpark Training/Howell Accident Repair Centre
Jonathan Johnston: Riverpark Training/ Tbr NI
Alec Archie Macleod: Edinburgh College Sitehill/Highland Motors
Jordan Lingham: NPTC Pontardawe/Sinclairs
Adrian Matthews: S&B Automotive Academy/Ultimate Accident Repair Services
Aiden Lee Cheetham: Blackpool and the Fylde College/The Vella Group

Light Vehicle Technology
Oliver Young: Perth UHI/J&R Auto Services
Elliot Ritchie: Calex UK/Western Mazda
Jack Robert Johnston: Perth UHI/J&R Auto Services
Ryan Cullen: Southwest College/AL Services
Ashley Hursey: Volkswagen Group National Learning Centre/Audi Approved Colchester
Matthew Kemp: Volvo UK/Ray Chapman Motors

Heavy Vehicle Technology
Ben Turner: Skillnet/Harris DAF High Wycombe
Aleksander Zielechowski: Remit College/PCL West Thurrock
Joseph Roberts: Fife College/Fife Council
Nicholas Garrett: Gateshead College/South Tyneside Council
Harry Cooper: Sparshatt Academy/ Sparshatts Truck and Van
Jack Fitton: Scania Academy Remit: Scania

IMI Skills Competitions Manager Richard Hutchins observed: “The six finalists from each stream impressed the judges with their level of skill, dedication and focus. Many of the 2023 finalists face additional learning and work challenges, living with dyslexia, autism and dyscalculia, making their success even more impressive. Automotive is often believed to be unsuitable for those who are neurodiverse or have disabilities, but these inspirational finalists prove otherwise. They are succeeding to the highest level in our increasingly inclusive and rich sector.”

Richard added. “As a sector, we urgently need to come together to change the long-held negative perceptions and encourage more people to consider automotive careers. We need to fill around 112,000 roles in the next decade, spanning more than 200 occupations and these awards highlight the vast array of opportunities available, as well as the inspiring trainees and apprentices that will help to take automotive forward and ensure it evolves to be richer, more diverse, to best serve our customers.”

The finalists now go forward to the live national finals being held around Greater Manchester in November.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with the chance to become part of Team UK at EuroSkills 2025 at Herning in Denmark and WorldSkills International 2026 in Shanghai, China.