Bus Companies Gearing Up For The Challenge
This summer’s IRTE Skills Challenge is gathering steam as eight new bus and coach operators rise to the challenge.
The IRTE Skills Challenge aims to find the best mechanical, electrical and bodywork technicians in the bus and coach world through testing skills and knowledge. London United training manager Derek Mills attended the testing at last summer’s IRTE Skills Challenge to see what the top technical competition involves. He liked what he saw, and as a result the company is taking up the challenge in 2014. Derek says: “London United sees the IRTE Skills Challenge as an opportunity for our engineers to compete with their opposite numbers from other companies to allow for comparison within our industry. Competitions like this allow us and our engineers to gauge whether our company is keeping abreast of technologies and best practices within our industry.”
Fellow London bus company Tower Transit is also entering the ring this year. Engineering director Alan Coney explains why his company is rising to the challenge: “The IRTE Skills Challenge has become a must-do event for any bus and coach operator keen to give their engineering people the opportunity to showcase their skills in a controlled and competitive environment. Tower Transit is very new to bus operations in the UK and I consider it important that any progressive company takes the opportunity to actively participate in events such as the Skills Challenge.”
Seasoned competitor Go South Coast has risen to the challenge the last two years running, Steve Prewett, area engineering manager says: “As an operator in the public transport sector it’s essential our vehicles are maintained to the very highest standard. One way of judging the success of our training programme against the rest of the industry is the IRTE Skills Challenge. The Skills Challenge has also ignited interest throughout the rest of Go South Coast Companies. I’m being asked to submit more than one team this year. That should ignite some intercompany rivalry within the group.”
Other first-time competitors Abellio, Coastal Coaches, Gwyn Jones & Son Ltd, Paul Clark Services Ltd and Transdev Lancashire United will join competition stalwarts Arriva, First Group, Go Ahead London, London Borough of Redbridge and Translink for intense competition at S&B Automotive Academy, Bristol in the first week of June. Sponsored by Allison Transmission, Bridgestone, Knorr-Bremse and Shell Lubricants, the competition has great prizes from Teng Tools up for grabs.