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June 13 2018
By Michaela Peacock

Michaela writes for routeone and Group Tourism & Travel magazines

The IRTE Skills Challenge 2018: A
recording-breaking year

The IRTE Skills Challenge has returned for its eighth year, setting a new record with 32 teams and 92 contestants taking part over five days.

Teams included engineers from Abellio, Lothian buses, Tower Transit London, First Bus UK, Go Ahead London, Arriva London, Arriva UK Bus, SBS Transit, Nottingham City Transport, Reading Buses, Translink, RATP, Tower Transit Singapore, Bournemouth Transport, Trent Barton, Metroline.

Based at S&B Automotive academy in Bristol, the Skills Challenge is a chance for engineers to showcase their skills in three departments of engineering – electrical, body and mechanical.

There were nine mechanical tests including brakes, transmission, tyres, component measuring, and lubricants. The electrical section had eight tests including an electric bus, hybrid bus, solder electronics, chassis and test board faults. And body had five tests including panel fabrication, fibreglass, welding and defect identification.

As well as the practical tests, all sections included a written test.

Michael Taylor, Lothian Buses Workshop Controller, says: “For us, it’s a great way of gauging our ability as a team.

“We are recognised as the best bus operator in Scotland, so to come down here and show our level of workmanship is very pleasing. It gives us a good idea of how to plan future training schemes, too, and for the team to understand that hard work pays off.”

The winning engineers are due to be named at the awards ceremony on 12 July.

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