Major Bus Operators Battle It Out In Most Successful Challenge Yet

Major Bus Operators Battle It Out In Most Successful Challenge Yet

The IRTE Skills Challenge 2015, which took place on 1-4 June, saw 10 major operators and 50 competitors face off in a bid to discover the best in the coach and bus world.

The annual competition aims to find the best bus and coach technicians and apprentices in the UK and Ireland by testing their skills and knowledge in a series of mechanical, electrical and bodywork tasks. Since it was founded in 2011, it has been embraced by operators as a way of benchmarking the skills of their technicians against those of other operators, and celebrating excellence in engineering training and development.

Testing took place at S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 16 July at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.

“I feel any opportunity to challenge yourself against the best in the industry can only be a good thing,” explains Paul Lenihan, who represented Tower Transit in the Challenge this year. Paul also walked away with the award for top scoring bodywork technician in last year’s competition. “It’s a great chance to interact with fellow engineers, pushing yourself to the very limit of your skills, under pressure but giving a 100% throughout the competition. For me and my fellow engineering team we believe the IRTE skills competition is a great opportunity for any engineer taking part to be the best they can be, and we look forward to many more years of competition.”

Eighteen teams from Abellio, Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead London, Go South Coast, London United Buses, Metroline, Tower Transit, Translink, and trentbarton took part in the competition this year, which was sponsored by Allison Transmission, Bridgestone, Knorr-Bremse, Shell Lubricants, and Teng Tools, and supported by Abellio, DVSA and MAN.

First-time competitor Michelle Wolf, an apprentice coachmaker who represented FirstGroup in the bodywork challenge, said: “I am excited to be taking part in this years’ skills challenge, and hope to succeed in the event.  I very much appreciate the confidence my manager has in me for putting me forward to represent this great company in this exciting opportunity and hope to do everyone proud and become successful.”

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