3M has announced that top young performers in automotive refinishing competed June 7-9 at the 3M Automotive Refinish Center (ARC) for a chance to represent the UK in a prestigious global contest.
The IMI SKILL AUTO 2017 refinishing heats kicked off June 7 at 3M’s state-of-the-art facility in Atherstone, Warwickshire.
More than 100 students and apprentices from across the UK initially entered the competition, but only 18 made it through to this stage.
Over the next three days, they went head-to-head in a series of challenges, each vying for a place in the competition finals.
Six competitors per day were judged in five key areas – panel painting, bumper repair, scratch removal, masking tape precision and color matching.
Many of the products they used were supplied by 3M, including abrasives, polishes, masking tape and the 3M PPS Paint Preparation System.
The six top-performing contestants will be announced in September. They 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. There, talent scouts will pick one or more of those finalists who are age-eligible to represent the UK in the renowned international WorldSkills contest, which will be held in Russia in 2019.
“The chance to represent the UK in the global WorldSkills competition is highly sought after, so we look forward to another great contest in the refinishing category this year,” said Zoe Cookson, competition coordinator at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), which is the Skills Show competition partner in the automotive categories. “3M has been very gracious in once again letting us hold this event at their superb ARC facility, so we’re extremely grateful to them. We’re incredibly lucky to be able to benefit from their first-class facilities, as well as their products and expertise, which are second to none.”
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. Last year, the company also became an official partner of EuroSkills, a European competition championing young expertise in the industrial trades and service sectors.
“3M is proud to support WorldSkills UK, whose work to foster trade skills among the next generation is invaluable,” said Paul Larkin, 3M application engineer manager. “We look forward to hosting the refinishing heats every year, as it is always great to see such talented young people who are so passionate about this industry. We wish the best of luck to all those taking part.”
For more information about the competition, click here.