Two WA based technicians, who’ve come out on top of a field of eight finalists, will go on to represent Australia on the world stage.
The National Technical Skills Competition (NTSC) took place on Wednesday November 29, with Isuzu Trucks technicians and apprentices from across the country competing in a series of tests against the clock.
Leading the charge were Jason Lee from Road Runner Mechanical Services and Connor Gillam from Major Motors, both hailing from Western Australia, who finished ahead of the pack.
“I am so pleased to congratulate our two top finalists Jason and Connor, and to see the high calibre of apprentices and service technicians that have come through to the final stage of the National Technical Skills Competition,” said IAL head of aftersales, Brett Stewart.
“This competition encourages technicians to challenge themselves personally but also has a positive flow on effect for the dealerships and Isuzu customers who benefit from their expertise.”
After rigorous training and a qualifying round, eight qualified technicians made up the field for this year’s competition.
Finalists were required to undertake a written examination and a series of high-pressure practical tests under the watchful eye of judges.
This year’s competition emphasised the need for technicians to be able to respond quickly to new challenges and emergent technology.
“These are the people who operate behind garage doors, behind the scenes, but there’s no other group within the business with more knowledge of the product and how it’s being used,” said Stewart.
Lee and Gillam were both thrilled with their wins. They will compete as Team Australia in the international I-1 Grand Prix, which will be held in Japan next year.
“Road Runner Mechanical Services in Geraldton is a relative newcomer to the Isuzu network, so it’s great to be a part of the experience,” said Lee.
“I haven’t been to Japan before, so this is an amazing opportunity to visit and take part in the I-1 Grand Prix.”
Gillam added, “It was my goal to reach Japan and compete in the I-1 Grand Prix, but I did not honestly expect to take out one of the top spots.
“Working with trucks is my thing and I want to stay in the game for as long as possible… this event has been really motivating and I am stoked to have the chance to compete,” he said.
There was also an apprentice round, with eight apprentices competing.
The two top scoring contestants from the apprentice round were Matthew Dinola from Patterson Cheney Trucks in Victoria and Kim Coronacion from Bendigo Isuzu.
“Congratulations to all our apprentices who trained so hard and did us proud at the event,” said Stewart.
“As a former service technician myself, it always brings me great pleasure to see how events like this highlight the value of service techs and apprentices in this industry, while also providing a platform for our young people to network.
“With many students just now graduating from high school and looking towards their future, this is a timely reminder that a career as a service technician can come with many exciting moments and opportunities,” he continued.