Isuzu Trucks technicians and apprentices have competed in the National Technical Skills Competition (NTSC).
The annual event, held on 29 November, where participants are challenged in a series of tests against their colleagues, the clock, and ultimately, themselves, came down to two finalists: Jason Lee from Road Runner Mechanical Services and Connor Gillam from Major Motors, both hailing from Western Australia.
In congratulating the finalists, IAL Head of Aftersales, Brett Stewart, said he was pleased to see the high calibre of apprentices and service technicians that have come through to the final stage of the competition.
“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,” he said.
Following the format of previous years, the NTSC involved a written examination and a series of high-pressure practical tests under the watchful eye of judges.
After rigorous training and a qualifying round, eight apprentices and eight qualified technicians made up the field in which emphasis was placed on rapid responses to new challenges and the emergent technology applicable to Isuzu Trucks product.
Stewart said he was impressed with the level of knowledge and rigour applied to solving these complex problems.
“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,” he said.
“From what I have seen with those participating in the competition—it leaves me with no doubt that the Isuzu Australia network has the right workforce, with the right skills to meet the challenges of the future.”
For the two finalists of the technician’s round, a more immediate challenge will be competing 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 joint finalist Jason 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.”
Connor Gillam, whose goal it was to compete in the I-1 in Japan, echoed this sentiment.
“I did not honestly expect to take out one of the top spots,” he said.
“Working with trucks is my thing and I want to stay in the game for as long as possible [and] this event has been really motivating and I am stoked to have the chance to compete.”
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.
“Especially for those who might be considering a career as an Isuzu technician—and all the benefits that come with working alongside Australia’s number one truck brand.”