Challenge on to find top bus and coach technicians

The IRTE Skills Challenge celebrates the technicians who keep the UK and Ireland’s buses and coaches on the road and ready for business. The competition allows technicians to test their expertise in a series of mechanical, electrical and bodywork tasks, and see who is up to the challenge of maintaining a modern passenger carrying fleet.

IRTESponsored by Allison Transmission, BAE Systems, Bridgestone, Knorr-Bremse and Shell Lubricants, the IRTE Skills Challenge has been embraced by operators as a way of promoting their companies’ commitment to skills and training.

IRTE Skills Challenge 2013 saw technicians and apprentices from operators including Arriva, Go-Ahead London, Reading Buses, Translink and FirstGroup battle it out to see who was up to the challenge. The top award last year – the IRTE Award for Outstanding Achievement – went to Arriva team-mates Glenn Cooke, Colin Harris and Stephen Hall. This year technicians will compete for prizes from Teng Tools, as well as the chance to say they’re the best in the business.

A Professional Sector of SOE (Society of Operations Engineers), IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) supports the development of engineering professionals in the commercial vehicle and bus and coach sectors. Ian Chisholm, Head of Operations at SOE, says: “The IRTE Skills Challenge mirrors IRTE’s aims of encouraging best practice, inspiring lifelong learning, and promoting the value of technical skills in the road transport industry. By offering a benchmark against which individuals and companies can measure themselves, the IRTE Skills Challenge encourages bus and coach technicians and operators to strive for the best – and rewards those who achieve it.”
Alex Fiddes, Chief Operating Officer, VOSA says: “The IRTE Skills Challenge is a fantastic event that recognises everything that’s good about the bus industry. It’s a chance to celebrate the people who strive to achieve the highest professional standard, something that VOSA and I strongly encourage.”

Entry to the IRTE Skills Challenge is free, and the competition will take place at S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol from 2 to 6 June 2014.  To enter your team, go to www.soe.org.uk/irteskills or contact Sheena Patel on sheena.patel@soe.org.uk or 020 7630 2174.