Last month CVW reported on the announcement of the finalists of the 2022 Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) Skills Competition. In anticipation of November’s finals, we focus in on the Heavy Vehicle Technology (HVT) category.
With the industry desperately short of skilled workers, it becomes increasingly important not only to motivate young people or career changers to join the sector; but also acknowledge and reward the efforts of those apprentice entrants who have excelled themselves, and the IMI Skills Competition aims to do just that.
One of the most keenly contested categories is that of Heavy Vehicle Technology, and a team of expert judges has whittled down the hundreds of applicants down to six who now proceed to the national finals on November 14th. The winner will be crowned at a ceremony hosted by presenter Steph McGovern from her Channel 4 Packed Lunch studio on November 25th. Competitors that impress in the national final could be in with a chance of representing the UK in the WorldSkills finals in France in 2024.
To be in contention, the HVT entrants had to pass a ‘passive online test’, the scores of which determined who went through to the digital and practical national qualifiers. Having qualified for the finals, the contestants will face technical challenges that test their ability to set up and use diagnostic equipment; carry out diagnostic procedures; follow correct technical and manufacturers procedures; work efficiently; accurately use scan tools, multimeters and DTI gauges; efficiently complete systems repairs and inspect vehicles ready for use.
Six tasks are set covering engine diagnostics, vehicle inspection and assessment, transmissions, electrical systems, steering and suspension systems, and braking systems.
For example, the braking challenge requires competitors to diagnose and repair a fault in a trailer braking system that has been previously repaired but now has a warning light on in the tractor unit and has harsh braking when unloaded. The engine diagnostics test asks competitors to diagnose and repair a two-stage fault in a vehicle that has been towed in as it will not start. In both cases, the competitor will need to log all related fault codes, diagnose those faults and rectify them. Once correctly rectified, the fault codes should be cleared.
Richard Hutchins, IMI Skills Competitions Manager, has the last word. “The Skills Competition is designed to raise standards, esteem and the level of expertise in technical skills, and it is clearly doing just that. It is incredible what these apprentices have achieved so early in their careers and under such difficult circumstances, It has been great to see such enthusiasm and dedication from the next generation of automotive experts, and we can’t wait for this stage of competition.”
The IMI Heavy Vehicle finalists 2022 are:
- Nicholas Garrett, Gateshead College;
- Stephen Hill, Bridgend College;
- George Hinckley, Remit Training and Scania;
- Daniel Noddle, Northside Truck and Van;
- Max Winter, Skillnet and Adam Morey; and
- Aleksander Zielechowski, Remit Training and MAN Truck and Bus.