Auto Skills Competition celebrates 20 years of helping students achieve auto careers
May 04, 2010
For 20 years, the BCAA, BCIT and B.C. Ford Dealers’ Student Auto Skills Competition has been celebrating the high level of skill amongst young, aspiring auto technicians. Designed to encourage careers in the automotive industry and cultivate talent, the annual competition creates an opportunity for students to receive recognition for outstanding ability and performance in the field of automotive mechanics.
On Saturday, May 1, the 20 most skilled automotive students from high schools across the province will rev up and compete in this year’s provincial BCAA, BCIT and B.C. Ford Dealers’ Student Auto Skills Competition at the BCIT Burnaby Campus from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To qualify for the competition, students completed a written exam where they were challenged with automotive-related questions. Students representing high schools from Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Duncan, Maple Ridge, Penticton, Qualicum Beach, Salmon Arm, Terrace and Vancouver earned the 10 best test scores.
The hands-on competition consists of 10 two-student teams racing against a clock to diagnose and repair identically “bugged” malfunctions deliberately installed in vehicles. The team that successfully repairs the most bugs within the 90 minute time is declared the winner.
In addition to providing a unique educational opportunity for the competing students, the Auto Skills Challenge highlights the current shortage of trained technicians in the automotive industry. Qualified automotive technicians are highly sought in today's job market and the Challenge encourages Grade 12 students to complete their education and prepare for rewarding careers in the increasingly high-tech automotive field.
“With the addition of new technologies, today’s cars are extremely complex. Technicians working in the field are highly trained professionals who know more about vehicles than just the ‘nuts and bolts,’” says Student Auto Skills Committee Chair, Allen Holmes.
“Careers in the automotive service industry are extremely rewarding and challenging. A great deal of skill in mathematics, logistics, electrical, electronics, mechanics and engineering are required nowadays. Many auto technicians work with state-of-the-art computerized systems, electronics and other advanced technology such as GPS and Bluetooth®.”
Last year, over $18,000 in prizes and scholarships was awarded to the winning schools and students. Each student on the top three teams will receive a scholarship to BCIT’s Motive Power Program and an Automotive Retailers Association scholarship to the post secondary institution of their choice. The winning school’s automotive department will also be presented with a Ford Focus courtesy of MSA Ford, Abbotsford and Steve Marshall Ford, Nanaimo.
"Celebrating twenty years of hosting the Auto Skills Competition is further proof of BCIT's ongoing commitment to providing the youth of British Columbia with hands-on training and applied work experience," says Michael Coates, director of Marketing and Business Development in the School of Transportation at BCIT. "This competition will provide these students with the opportunity to compete at BCIT's Automotive Service Technician training facility, learn more about BCIT Automotive programs, and gain insight into how we collaborate with the automotive industry to train and prepare job-ready graduates".
Each year many of the participants move on to promising careers in the automotive industry as a result of participating in the competition and the scholarships they win. The competition is co-sponsored by BCAA, BCIT and B.C. Ford Dealers and supported by various organizations dedicated to quality auto service.
|Abbotsford Christian School, Abbotsford
Instructor: Gary Verbeek
|Brittany Secondary, Maple Ridge
Instructor: Kim Or
|Caledonia Senior Secondary, Terrace
Instructor: Doug Brewer
|Centennial Secondary, Coquitlam
Instructor: Geoff McElgunn
|Cowichan Secondary, Duncan
Instructor: Ryan Gough
Brad La Rose
|Garibaldi Secondary, Maple Ridge
Instructor: Tom Wallace
|Kwalikum Secondary, Qualicum Beach
Instructor: Luc Ouellet
|Penticton Secondary, Penticton
Instructor: Kevin McGrifford
|Salmon Arm Secondary, Salmon Arm
Intructor: Gary Lebeter
|Westview Secondary, Maple Ridge
Instructor: Greg Erho