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IMI Worldskills UK Live Final

By Mike Smith on November 28, 2019

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), is continuing to champion automotive talent. Between 21st and 23rd November, 24 finalists competed at this year’s Worldskills UK Live competition at Birmingham NEC.

With a clear focus on working with the motor retail sector to address the ever-widening skills gap, the competition set out to find the best apprentices across numerous skills. A series of heats ran throughout the year, with the finalists competing at the NEC where they underwent intensive competition over 3 days to find the best of the best.

The event is designed to help shape the future of a new generation. Attracting nearly 80,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find out more about the world of work. It also provides the setting for competitions for a wide range of skills, with the winners standing a chance of being selected for World Skills in Shanghai, China.

This year’s finalists in the IMI Skill Auto competition demonstrated their skills in all the key competencies required in the automotive sector. The IMI currently offers 16 different Apprenticeship Standards, having recently launched three new ones for automotive repair professionals, demonstrating its commitment to help industry employers attract, develop and retain talent in motor careers.

Mark Armitage, Head of Membership Products & Services at the IMI said: “The motor retail sector remains one of the strongest advocates of apprenticeships, which means we have an exciting array of talent competing at the IMI Skill Auto competition. As motoring technology evolves, with demand for lower emissions, connected vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles, the skills gap continues to widen. It is, therefore, vital that we continue to champion the best of the new talent coming into the sector through competitions like IMI Skill Auto.

“We are also excited to be in a forum at Worldskills UK Live so that young people can understand just how exciting the automotive sector is. They will see cutting edge techniques and processes being carried out by our finalists, proving that the automotive sector provides a truly 21st century career path.”

IMI Skill Auto 2019 Finalists


• Aubrey Whiteside, Riverpark Training – David Irvine Sprayers
• Josh Millar, Transport Training Services – Wright Bus
• Craig Kennedy, Riverpark Training – Howels ARC
• Nathan Palfrey, Babcock Technical Academy – Cooper BMW York
• Jack Groves, Volvo TDC – Sturgess Bodycraft
• Josh Jones, NPTC Group, Pontadarwe College – Scuffed Up

Body Repair

• Connor Davidson, Riverpark Training and Development
• Chris McCarley, Riverpark Training and Development – Charles Hurst ARC
• Graeme Nevin, Riverpark Training and Development – Wright’s Accident Repair Centre
• Dominic Mills, Training 2000 Ltd – HBPanelcraft
• Matthew Sutton, Training 200 Ltd – Abbot’s Car Repairs Ltd
• Rowen Small, Remit Training – Apollo Motor Group, Cheltenham

Light Vehicle

• Ruairi Barrow, (Completed apprenticeship) – Donnelly Brother JLR
• Robert Pallant Bright, Skillnet – Lookers Ford
• Jake Hubbard, Skillnet – Forest Gate
• Matthew Bundy, Skillnet – Hendy Ford
• Harry Chaundy, GTG Training – Arnold Clark
• Christopher Wright, ProVQ Ltd – RRG Toyota, Stockport

IMI Skill Auto 2019 Winners


GOLD – Craig Kennedy
SILVER – Nathan Palfrey
BRONZE – Jack Groves

Body Repair

GOLD – Matthew Sutton
SILVER – Connor Davison
BRONZE – Graeme Nevin

Light Vehicle

GOLD – Robert Pallent-Bright
SILVER – Christopher Wright
BRONZE – Harry Chaundy



About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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