The search for automotive excellence Competition for Students and Apprentices Studying towards Level 3 Qualification in Automotive Technology, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Refinishing and Heavy Vehicle Engineering to find the best in the UK The competition


2017 entries are now closed, follow their progress through the competition and register your interest for #SkillAuto2018 REGISTER INTEREST #SkillAuto2018


Over 300 took the online test, the top 84 took part in a one day practical at the National Finals, 24 went onto compete for Gold at the National Finals to become the UK Champion in Light Vehicle Technology, Body Repair, Refinishing and Heavy Vehicle Engineering! #SkillAuto2016

5 Steps to win Gold in #SkillAuto

Step 1 – Get nominated online at WorldSkills with Engineering & Technology

SIGN ME UP FOR #SkillAuto2018

Step 2 – Complete the online test emailed to you by 7th April
Step 3 – Attend a 1 day National Qualifier held for each competition stream
Step 4 – Compete at the Live National Final at the Skills Show in November - Final at Skills Show
Step 5 – Win GOLD!

The Competition

Online test dates 1st March – 7th April 2017 via the World Skills UK Website

  • Skill Auto: Tech National Qualifier's, 5-19 May 2017, Venue - Volkswagen Group Learning Centre

    Tech National Qualifier's
    15-19 May 2017

    Venue - Volkswagen Group Learning Centre

  • Refinishing NQ's, 7-9 June 2017, Venue - 3M Technical Centre

    Refinishing NQ's
    7-9 June 2017

    Venue - 3M Technical Centre

  • Body NQ's, 21-23 June 2017, Venue - Babcock Technical Academy

    Body Repair NQ's
    21-23 June 2017

    Venue - Babcock Technical Academy

  • Heavy Vehicle Engineering, NQ's 5-7 July 2017, Venue – Volvo Training Academy, Stephenson College

    Heavy Vehicle Engineering
    NQ's 5-7 July 2017

    Venue – Volvo Training Academy, Stephenson College

Final at Skills Show 16-18 November 2017

Venue – NEC, Birmingham

The Skills Show

The Skills Show host the finals at the NEC from 16-18 November 2017. The Skills Show is the nation's largest skills and careers event and helps to 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.


Upcoming events

WORLDSKILLS ABU DHABI 2017 (14-19 October 2017)
WORLDSKILLS KAZAN 2019 (18-23 August 2019)

World Skills

World Skills Logo

Skill Auto finalists that are age eligible may have the opportunity to be a selected for World Skills in Kazan, Russia.

The WorldSkills Competition is our flagship event, held every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world that truly reflects global industry. The Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from skill competitions in WorldSkills Member countries and regions. They are all under the age of 23 years. They demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and/or perform in their workplace.

One of the main legacies of the WorldSkills Competitions is to give visibility and importance to professional education, as one of the true tools of socioeconomic transformation.

The Competition also provides leaders in industry, government and education with the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education. New ideas and processes inspire school-aged youth to dedicate themselves to technical and technological careers and towards a better future.


Look back at 2016 Skill Auto

The IMI Skill Auto competitions set out to identify the most talented young apprentices working in the automotive sector. Run annually they are designed to raise standards, esteem and levels of expertise in technical skills across four streams of competition, Automotive Technology, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Refinishing and Heavy Vehicle Engineering. 2016 proved to be an exceptional year with the introduction of Heavy Vehicle Engineering as a full competition cycle, sponsored by IRTE, and the introduction of new challenges for our competitors in all areas.

From an initial entry of over 300, 84 individuals took part in the practical heats in the Spring with only 24, 6 from each skill area, being invited to the national finals and the possibility of becoming UK champion.

On 17th November everything was in place and the competition began. The next two days saw outstanding performances by our finalists who worked under extreme pressure in front of 72,000 visitors to complete the tasks we'd set before the gold, silver and bronze medallists were announced at a celebration event after the show ended.

Take a look back at the highlights of the Skill Auto competition.

Take a look at winners from the 2016 competition. Please note: 1st to 3rd place stated, other names in no particular order.

The finalists and medal winners of the 2016 competition

Skill Auto Body Repair finalists

  • (1st) Shawn Dyson (Chesterfield College, Employer: Chartwell)
  • (2nd) Lewis Owers (Thatchams, Employer: Nationwide Gladwins)
  • (3rd) Justin Mahon (Southern Regional College, Employer: Kevin Connolly Car Sales)
  • Hayden Forrester (Gateshead College, Employer: Excel Body Repairs)
  • Harry Devine (Chesterfield College, Employer: Body Motor Works)
  • Michael Sanlon (Transport Training Services, Employer: Trust Ford)

Skill Auto Refinishing finalists

  • (1st) Michael Massey (Chesterfield College, Employer: Alton Cars Ltd)
  • (2nd) Christopher Jones (Cardiff and Vale College, Employer: Saintclairs Group)
  • (3rd) Theodoros Tsouknidas (Cardiff and Vale College, Employer: Nationwide Crash Repair Centre)
  • Tom Harris (Davies Motor Company, Employer: N/A)
  • Kirsty Ashley (Nova Training, Employer: Concept Refinishers Ltd)
  • Daniel Appleby (Training 2000 Limited, Employer: JD Macadam & Sons)

Skill Auto Technology finalists

  • (1st) Harry Garraway (VW Group Apprentice Programme, Employer: Heritage VW Van Centre)
  • (2nd) Brett Gibson (Jaguar Land Rover Academy, Employer: Hatfields Land Rover)
  • (3rd) Eoin McCloskey (Northwest Regional College, Employer: Desmond Motors)
  • Walter McElroy (South West College, Employer: Western Cars)
  • Gareth Murphy (South West College, Employer: Carmanic)
  • Ryan Kane (South West College, Employer: Connellys Volkswagen)

Skill Auto Heavy Vehicle Engineering finalists

  • (1st) Shaun Richards (Scania (GB) Ltd, Employer: Scania Heathrow)
  • (2nd) Dean Carter-Pilgrim (MAN/S&B Auto Academy, Employer: Cordwallis Heathrow)
  • (3rd) Shaun Cousins (DAF Trucks, City of Bristol College, Employer: Ford and Slater Leicester)
  • Jack Burt (Volvo/Stephenson College, Employer: Volvo Trucks (Broxburn))
  • Dominic Scott (Volvo/Stephenson College, Employer: Volvo Trucks (Enfield))
  • Taylor Yuill (Scania (GB) Ltd, Employer: Scania (Grangemouth))

Read More
Steve Nash, CEO at the IMI

The apprentices competing at The Skills Show highlight the extraordinary talent that has been created with the support of employers and training providers, along with the passion and enthusiasm of young people themselves. With careers advice in schools and colleges being of variable quality, The Skills Show is a great opportunity for young people and their parents to see the opportunities available within the vocational arena.

Michael Massey, Gold Medalist, Automotive Refinishing from Alton Cars

The finals were so well organised, which is a credit to the organisers. They made it so easy for us to know what was required and where we needed to be and when. The hotel, food, travel arrangements and uniform provided were second to none and I'm genuinely thankful for being given the chance to be a part of it.

Neilson Jones, Group Commercial Director at Alton Cars

We couldn't quite believe the scale of the whole event on Thursday and it is definitely something we would like to be more regularly involved with moving forwards. Mike is a huge asset to our business, and seeing the event first hand gives you a clear indication that there are many more young people out there who are focussed and driven to succeed.

Shawn Dyson, Gold Medalist, Automotive Body Repair from Chartwell Derby

I was ecstatic when I heard my name called out. I was so proud, my mentor was in tears. I enjoyed the competition very much. I felt supported and it was a great experience, a real challenge and it pushed me forward improving my knowledge and skills.

Chris Brightmore, CEO at Chartwell Derby

I wanted this for Shawn as he deserves it. His work ethic and attitude are fantastic. He is the next generation for us and we need talent like him in our business. I will encourage more of our apprentices to enter the contest next year because I want all our apprentices and juniors to become the very best they can and celebrate the skills they have learnt and appreciate how important they are.

2017 Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 IMI Skill Auto competition are available. For more information, please contact:
David Massie, Skills Competition Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1313 314678
Mobile: +44 (0) 7717 445156