A Newport student whose granddad ignited his interest in repairing damaged cars is now set to turn this into a career after scooping the top prize in a quest to find Wales’ best aspiring autobody repair technician.
Lewis Lloyd, 17, an autobody repair student at Coleg Gwent’s City of Newport Campus battled out against competitors from across the country to be named Skills Competition Wales gold award winner in this specialist field.
Runners up were fellow Coleg Gwent student Daniel Taylor and Cardiff and Vale student Rhys North who were awarded joint silver having demonstrated a high level of expertise.
Skills Competition Wales events, which are backed by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund, are held annually to showcase excellence in vocational learning and promote the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce.
Lewis, who is also an apprentice with Newport-based BP Rolls, said he was inspired to pursue autobody repair as a career having worked alongside his grandfather to repair the family cars.
Lewis said: “I’ve worked on cars with my grandfather since I was 15 and I really enjoyed learning the skill with him, so I enrolled on a full time course to further my skills as a autobody repair technician. This is the first trophy I’ve ever been awarded, I definitely plan to enter more competitions and I’m aiming to represent the UK at a future WorldSkills competition.”
Along with the other competitors from Cardiff and Vale College, Lewis was asked to complete a number of tasks set up at different stations including spot welding, replacement procedures for both bolted and welded car panels and damage alignment diagnosis.
EU-backed Skills Competition Wales aims to find the country’s most talented trainees across a wide range of skills, including fields such as catering, automotive engineering, aerospace, construction skills, catering, accountancy, media, and information technology.
Winners of all-Wales finals may have the chance to compete against other top trainees at WorldSkills UK finals or even the WorldSkills International event at Rio de Janeiro in 2015.
Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, congratulated Lewis on his success. He said: “These competitions are an excellent opportunity for up-andcoming skilled workers in Wales to stretch themselves and really develop their abilities within their chosen fields. These competitions cover many important sectors of the economy and we aim to encourage young people entering these occupations to benchmark their skills against others in Wales, the UK or indeed internationally.”