Skills heats underway

Top young performers in automotive refinishing are competing at the 3M Automotive Refinish Centre (ARC) for a chance to represent the UK in a prestigious global contest.

The IMI Skill Auto 2017 refinishing heats have kicked off at the science-based technology company’s state-of-the-art facility in Atherstone, Warwickshire.

More than 100 students and apprentices from across the UK had initially entered the competition, but only 18 have made it through to this stage. Over the next three days they will go head-to-head in a series of challenges, each vying for a place in the competition finals.

Six competitors per day will be judged in five key areas – panel painting, bumper repair, scratch removal, masking tape precision and colour matching.

The six top-performing contestants will be announced in September and will go on to take part in the WorldSkills UK refinishing finals, which will be held at the Skills Show, a careers event taking place at the NEC in Birmingham in November.

3M has hosted the refinishing heats at the ARC every year since the facility opened in 2013, and has been a Global Industry Partner of WorldSkills UK for the past five years.

Zoe Cookson, competition coordinator at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which is the Skills Show competition partner in the automotive categories, said, ‘3M have been very gracious in once again letting us hold this event at their superb ARC facility, so we’re extremely grateful to them.’