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PUTTING ISUZU TRUCKS’ BEST TO THE TEST

A group of Isuzu Trucks automotive technicians and apprentices are gearing up for an exciting battle of skills in Melbourne later this month. 

Up for grabs is the chance for two technicians to compete against Isuzu technicians from around the world at the famed I-1 Grand Prix (I-1 GP) in November. 

Earlier in July, 63 technicians and apprentices took part in an online qualifier event that tested the automotive knowledge and skills of apprentices and technicians through a one-hour written exam, while the technicians went on to do three 10-minute virtual failure diagnostic exercises. 

Eight technicians and apprentices are now bound for Melbourne to compete in the National Technical Skills Competition on July 27.  

On the day, the competitors will undertake a one-hour written exam and a one-hour on-vehicle exercise.  

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) National Training Manager David Smith said the National Technical Skills Competition was a fantastic opportunity for technicians and apprentices to showcase their skills.  

“Supporting our technicians is crucial, given the shortage of skilled workers in the industry in Australia and globally,” Mr Smith said. 

Earlier this year, Australia’s National Skills Commission said its latest assessment of skill shortages found that 42 per cent of technician and trade occupations are in shortage, compared to 19 per cent of all occupations in shortage. 

Pre-covid, the annual I-1 GP was held in Japan since 2006 but this year the event is once again a virtual competition.  

IAL’s team won the international competition in 2011, and made podium finishes in six more of international events. 

“The National Technical Skills Competition, the I-1 GP and the Walkinshaw Andretti United V8 supercar pit crew experience are some of the fantastic skill-building experiences for technicians at Isuzu,” Mr Smith said.  

“These experiences are in addition to the regular training undertaken by Isuzu Trucks technicians to update their knowledge of vehicle inspections, diagnosis, repairs and systems management.”

The eight technicians who will compete for a place on the I-1 Grand Prix team at the national competition are:  

Name  Dealership  State 
Kaylem Brown  Canberra Isuzu, Queanbeyan  NSW 
Brad Hickey  Peel Valley Isuzu, Tamworth  NSW 
Joshua Mortimer  Northern Rivers Isuzu, Lismore  NSW 
Boyd Mole  Brisbane Isuzu, Archerfield  QLD 
Justyn Walker  Westar Truck Centre, Derrimut  VIC 
Louis Holt  Bendigo Isuzu, Bendigo  VIC 
Jordan Jeffers  North East Isuzu, Burton  SA 
Kaiden Hayter  South West Isuzu, Picton  WA 

The eight apprentices who will compete are: 

Name  Dealership  State 
Tom O’Connor  Gilbert & Roach Isuzu, Hexham  NSW 
Pradeep Siddiki  Suttons Motors Arncliffe, Arncliffe  NSW 
James Boyce  Black Truck Sales, Toowoomba  QLD 
Cory John  Brisbane Isuzu, Archerfield  QLD 
Matthew Dinola  Patterson Cheney Trucks, Dandenong          VIC 
Sammy Allan  Ballarat Isuzu, Wendouree  VIC 
Jaiden McManus  North East Isuzu, Burton  SA 
Johnathon Kurthy  Major Motors, Forrestfield  WA 

All 16 competitors have won their choice of either a Milwaukee 18v Fuel 1/2″ High Torque Impact Wrench Kit or a Milwaukee 18v Fuel One-Key 3/4″ High Torque Impact Wrench Kit. The top two highest-scoring technicians and the top two scoring apprentices at the National Technical Skills competition will also win thousands of dollars’ worth of Snap-On tools.

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