Skills Challenge entrants coming in

Entrants for the 2014 edition of the IRTE Skills Challenge have already started coming in. One of these contestants is FirstGroup, which has taken part in the competition’s past events. Engineering Performance Manager at First UK Bus, Peter Lewis, said, ‘First UK Bus is taking part in the IRTE Skills Challenge once again because we feel it’s important to support a body which promotes excellence in engineering within our industry. The challenge also gives us the valuable opportunity to test the effectiveness of our ongoing internal training program against other operators, emphasising our continued commitment and investment in training. We feel that the competition benefits the industry by championing technical ability and allowing us all to show our customers how seriously we take the reliability and safety of our vehicles. It also allows our technicians to showcase their skills by completing repairs to the highest standard and encourages excellence by rewarding and acknowledging the best. The competition is an invaluable opportunity for entrants and supporters alike to exchange views on engineering best practice, training and new technology.’

‘At First UK Bus we believe it’s for a fantastic opportunity for technicians themselves to enter this challenge as it’s an opportunity to show their skills and ability to a wider audience. It’s a chance to earn recognition from their employers and peers for achieving excellence. The challenge is also great for self confidence if you know you’re one of the best in your field of expertise. Also, a little bit of healthy rivalry between colleagues from within their own company and externally can only act as an incentive to be your very best. All of our people at First UK Bus who have taken part in the challenge openly admit to enjoying the competition and would recommend it to any technician who is offered the opportunity to take part.’

Head of Operations & Communication, SOE (Society of Operations Engineers – IRTE’s umbrella organisation), Andy Chisholme, said, ‘The IRTE Skills Challenge sets the bar for technical excellence in the bus and coach industry, and gives operators very real feedback about where they stand in terms of their in-house training and skills. It’s not often that technical skills in this industry are celebrated, something which is a real shame, and that’s what this competition aims to do. By engaging with the IRTE Skills Challenge operators are announcing that they’re confident in their own standards and practices, and that they have a commitment to excellence that is worthy of industry wide recognition. To any operators reading this I would say: we hope you’ll accept the challenge.’ To enter the IRTE Skills Challenge, contact SOE Events Manager, Sheena Patel, on [email protected] or on 0207 630 2174. Visit for more information on the competition.

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