Search for UK’s top Body Repair student begins at NCL

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Automotive students from New College Lanarkshire have accelerated their skills by competing in the qualifiers for a major competition.

The College’s Motherwell Campus played host for the first time to the early stage of a contest to find the UK’s best students or apprentices in Automotive Body Repair.

Organised by The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in conjunction with WorldSkills UK, the Auto Skills Scotland event tasked hopefuls with completing a series of 30-minute practical and theoretical tests including welding, panel repair, panel alignment and MET (mechanical, electrical and trim).

Karol Beczek and Daniel Ledger, who both study Vehicle Accident Repair Body Principles, represented New College Lanarkshire in the competition.

Karol Beczek finished as runner-up, taking home a trophy and screwdriver set, with Samuel Meheux of GTG Training being named the winner.

The winner and runner-up will travel to Goole in Yorkshire in June to compete in the next round of the competition, with the best participants from that stage selected to compete at WorldSkills UK LIVE at Birmingham’s NEC in November.

David Massie, Skills Competition Manager at IMI, said: “It’s the first time that we’ve done this event in Scotland and we want to check that competitors have the basic understanding of how tasks are carried out, and as we move through the competition it will become more complex.

“The competitors who reach the final in Birmingham could be tasked with a five-hour job, so it becomes a big task, and we want to be confident that they are capable of making that progression.

“If they perform well enough, there is the potential that they could be selected to represent the UK internationally at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.”

Robert Brown, Assistant Head of Faculty for Engineering and Automotive, said: “We are really happy to be working in partnership with IMI to host these competitions, which are very valuable stepping stones for our students as they help lead them into industry and take them further afield.

“It allows our students to set goals that they can work towards – and just being invited to compete in an event like this helps them improve their skills and confidence.

“Our students can compare their skills to those competitors learning at other training centres – they can see quickly the skills and quality required at this level.”

New College Lanarkshire is one of the biggest providers of Automotive training in Scotland. To find out more about the range of courses, visit www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/automotive

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