BTS 2023, Careers & Training

Competition ramps up for HVIA National Apprentice Challenge

Three teams are all set to take to the stage and showcase their skills in the HVIA National Apprentice Challenge, which will be staged live at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show.

Six finalists have been selected from across Australia to represent their regions and work against the clock.

Apprentices from all over Australia sat a rigorous two-hour online test, set by TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, with the two highest results from each of the regions selected to compete in the intense challenge.

The finalists are as follows:

  • Representing the Eastern Region category (which comprises Queensland, NSW and ACT) will be second-year apprentice Shaneet Singh from Stillwell Trucks, Sydney; and fourth-year apprentice Jack Dennis from Penske Australia, Brisbane.
  • The North-western Region team (representing WA and NT) features third-year apprentice Bekitemba Gwebu of Major Motors, Perth; and fourth-year apprentice Beau Smith from CMV Truck Centre, Adelaide.
  • And for the Southern Region (comprised of Victoria, SA and Tasmania), it’ll be fourth-year apprentice Luke Kneebone of Webster Trucks, Tasmania; and third-year apprentice Samual Allan from Ballarat Isuzu.

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking said the number of nominations for the 2021 National Apprentice Challenge is testimony to the emerging talent coming into the heavy vehicle industry.

“The response has again been exceptional, with nominations received from second, third and fourth year apprentices Australia-wide,” he said. “We commend every apprentice who took part in the gruelling exam.

“These young people are at the beginning of a journey that will open doors to hugely rewarding career paths with Australian and international companies involved in the manufacture, distribution and support of trucks, trailers and their components.

“These talented young people have competed for the honour of representing their region; congratulations to each of the apprentices from each of our three regions who have been selected.”

Each team will work on one of two identical Isuzu FX-series prime movers.

Each regional team will work on one of two identical Isuzu FX-series prime movers to identify and rectify a series of programmed faults as the clock ticks.

As the apprentices put their skills to the test, there will be commentary explaining their moves and strategy, as their approach to addressing the challenge unfolds.

The winning team will be the first one to successfully identify and repair all the faults, or the team that rectifies the most faults within the allowed time frame.

Heats will be held on the Thursday and Friday of the show from 11am-12pm and on the Saturday from 1pm-2pm. Over 1,000 school students will have the opportunity to watch and get a taste of the heavy vehicle industry as a career option.

The top two teams from the heats will go head-to-head in the final on Sunday May 16 from 1pm-2pm.

Prizes up for grabs for the winning team include a fully hosted trip to the V8 Supercars, complete with the full corporate treatment, pit lane tours and more. All finalists will also receive tool prizes courtesy of Warby Tools.

Entry to watch the event is free.

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