Get your apprentices signed up for IMI Skills Competition

The Institute of the Motor Industry’s search for the future of automotive excellence is well under way and picking up pace, but time is running out for bodyshops to nominate their best apprentices in the Automotive Body Repair and Automotive Refinishing categories of the IMI Skills Competition.

Richard Hutchins, the IMI’s skills competition manager, told Bodyshop Magazine: “We are a quarter of the way through the registration period now and I encourage your readers to get their apprentices registered as soon as possible.

“This year the IMI Skills Competitions are doing things a bit differently. We are really excited to be running the 2024 National Qualifiers for Automotive Body Repair and Automotive Refinishing together for the first time at Morelli Group’s prestigious Eyebox Training & Conference Centre in Coventry (15-17 May).”

The 2024 competition cycle:

  • Stage 1 (26 February to 28 March)

Nominate and register your top talented apprentices. Ensure that your apprentice completes their part of the registration including the T&C’s. The entry test instructions, link and unique access code will then be emailed to the apprentice and they will have a week to complete the entry test.

  • Stage 2 (15 May to 7 June)

The top scorers form the entry stage will make it through to the National Qualifiers (the practical competition rounds). Your bodyshop and your apprentice will be informed which National Qualifier they will need to attend.

  • Stage 3 (11 July)

WorldSkills UK and IMI Skills Competitions will announce the 2024 finalists from each skill area that have made it through to the 2024 National Finals. An individual training plan will be shared with your apprentice based on their National Qualifier competition scores so they will know what they need to work on. An employer visit will be arranged to talk through the next stage and get your apprentice prepared.

  • Stage 4 ( October/November)

All of the finalists will be invited to attend a Master Class Training Day for their specific skills area. These Master Classes will be delivered by the sponsors – for body repair it will be Car-O-Liner UK and for refinishing it will be Glasurit – to ensure that the apprentices are fully prepared and equipped for the National Finals.

  •  Final stage (18-22 November)

Attend the UK  National Finals and compete over three days (finals venue TBC), taking part in six live tasks, to battle for the gold medal.

Hutchins continued: “I urge bodyshops not to leave it until the last minute to get all of their top apprentices registered, and I remind the apprentices to complete the entry test as soon as they get the email link and access code. I really wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this fantastic opportunity.”

To register for one of the collision repair categories and to read competition digital resources, including competition rules, what to expect, top tips and more, go to the IMI Skills Competition web page or visit WorldSkills UK National Competitions.