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Apollo technician ‘Highly Commended’ at World Skills finals

Rowen Small of Apollo Motor Group in Cheltenham was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Body Repair Apprentice of the Year at the World Skills UK finals.

The 20-year-old, who completed his Level 3 body repair apprenticeship in July, narrowly missed out on the top spot, and was put forward for World Skills UK 2019 by his training provider, Remit Group.

In June this year, he joined 17 fellow apprentices selected for the World Skills qualifying rounds in Yorkshire. With 18 young people in the body repair category, this round was designed to whittle the contestants down to six. Rowen was selected as one of the six successful candidates, making it through to the UK national finals, which took place last week at the NEC in Birmingham.

Candidates competed in their categories across three days from November 20-22, finally culminating in a medal ceremony on the Saturday night.

Small was challenged with carrying out a range of body repair tasks, done under exam-style conditions, with high levels of attention given to not only the technique, finish and quality of work but also to checking the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) and the right tools are used for the job.

Having had to successfully navigate through selection rounds to become a national finalist, this competition is highly regarded in the industry with the very best in their field competing for the much sought-after top spot.

L-R Jim Swann (Apollo Academy development manager), Rowen Small and Darran Morris (manager, Apollo Motor Group Cheltenham).

“World Skills UK has been such a fantastic experience,” said Small.

“The competition has been nerve-wracking, even though this is what I do every day. I have always been confident in the work I do throughout the competition stages, but I’ve been surrounded by some really talented people, and although I didn’t win this time, the experience has been second to none.”