This weekend will see the finals of the Lumileds and Philips Automotive Lighting-supported UK Top Technician and Top Garage Awards for 2020/21.
Hundreds of British and Northern Irish garages and technicians applied to enter the annual competition, which promotes best practice in the garage and workshop sector.
These were whittled down, during last month’s semi-finals, to 40 garage finalists and from 15 technicians to five.
Across both categories, they spanned the entire length and breadth of the UK – from Scotland to Devon and from Northern Ireland and Wales down to the Channel Islands.
The garages undergo assessment through a mixture of questionnaires and visits. The Technicians who make it through the initial assessment to the semi-finals then assembled at a Northampton workshop, for a mixture of written tests and practical tasks, of the sort they might face in the workshop.
This process will be repeated for the five finalists, but, come the weekend, the questions and practical tasks will be more complex, to test skills to the fullest.
As experts in vehicle and workshop lighting, Lumileds, who have the global license to manufacture and distribute Philips Automotive lighting products, set a variety of lighting related questions and tasks, which included a fairly standard bulb change.
The technicians were also provided with Philips workshops lights throughout the course of the day, to allow them to work in optimum light throughout the various practical tasks they had to tackle.
“We are always delighted to be able to promote excellence in the industry,” comments Lumileds UK and Ireland country manager, Richard Armstrong. “Our message is that quality counts and therefore, to be a main partner in Top Garage and Top Technician this year, fits in very well with our ethos.”
Richard Armstrong will, himself, be one of the judges for the Top Garage award in this weekend’s Final. “I have to admit to being a little out of my comfort zone on this. But the other judges are really supportive and so I’m looking forward to having an active role in proceedings.”
Philips Automotive Lighting ambassador, Andy Savva – “the Garage Inspector” – is Chairman of Judges for the Garage Awards and he is in no doubt about the need for an awards scheme of this nature.
“My weekday role is to help garage businesses run as close to their optimum as possible. The industry has some really great garages out there but there is a need for us to promote this to the outside world. Having Lumileds with Philips Automotive Products supporting excellence in our industry certainly helps illustrate that we are all serious about driving standards forwards,” he said.
The finals of the competition will be live on Saturday, October 9 via www.facebook.com/aftermarketmagazine.