Young talent bodes well for bright tomorrow

The next generation of vehicle technicians have proven age is no barrier to ability at The Skills Show following a series of challenges, including a wheel alignment test, to discover the best-of-the-best.

A major part of the SkillAuto competition saw finalists from across the UK battling it out using a state-of-the-art Hunter HawkEye Elite TD imaging aligner, courtesy of Pro-Align, the UK’s leading wheel alignment specialists.

The hard fought competition was a highlight of the three days of events at the NEC near Birmingham which also showcased the best of further education, apprenticeships and employer training.

“The Skills Show is a great way to foster today’s young talent and recognise those who have shown a commitment to their chosen profession.

“It’s also very encouraging to see that so many apprentice technicians are prepared to put in the hard work at the beginning, which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their working lives,” said Paul Beaurain, managing director, Pro-Align.

The NEC event hosted the climax of the WorldSkills UK Competitions programme. Pro-Align’s involvement is part of a three year strategic partnership which sees automotive apprentice technicians use its cutting-edge Hunter equipment.

In total there were more than 600 competitors taking part in 63 skills competitions in 54 skills, covering all aspects of practical and applied skills, from car painting to carpentry. The Skills Show also staged a variety of Have a Go activities, to encourage visitors to try a new skill for themselves, as well as Spotlight talks which provided an insight to individual careers, Showcase demonstrations and career advice from experienced advisors across the event.

Mark Yates from Holdcroft Honda was the winner of the AutoTech competition, while the highest scoring competitor in the alignment tasks using the Hunter HawkEye Elite TD was Gary Brown from Arnold Clark Honda who was the only participant to score 100 per cent.

Beaurain added: “Pro-Align is delighted to be involved in The Skills Show which is raising the bar and showing apprentices how get on the right careers path. It is also another clear demonstration of our commitment to heavily invest in the future of the wheel alignment industry”.

“However, what’s also pleasing is that wheel alignment was a key judging criteria in the SkillAuto competition and further proves that this service plays a vitally important role in dealership and workshop operations.”

For more information about Pro-Align and its range of Hunter wheel aligners, balancers and tyre changers, visit

Pro-Align is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of wheel alignment and wheel service equipment. Its advanced systems are used by many vehicle manufacturers, franchised dealer groups, independent workshops, motorsport specialists and vehicle technology consultancies. Pro-Align is the sole UK distributor for the Hunter range of wheel aligners, balancers and tyre changers.

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