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IMI Awards students celebrate wins at the ‘Skills Olympics’
PUBLISHED: 30/07/2013 | UPDATED:25/02/2014 11:40:03
IMI Awards is celebrating the return of two of its students who were medal winners for the UK at the WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 event, also known as the 'Skills Olympics'.

Matt Quinn and Gary GreerIMI Awards is celebrating the return of two of its students who were medal winners for the UK at the WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 event, also known as the 'Skills Olympics'.

Matt Quinn, who lives near Banbridge, in County Down, Northern Ireland, took a bronze medal in the Autobody Repair competition, while Gary Greer, also from Northern Ireland, and based in Cookstown, County Tyrone, won a Medallion of Excellence in the Car Painting competition.

Both were students from Riverpark Training in Belfast, and joined more than 1,000 other competitors from 65 countries in the event which attracted over 200,000 visitors.

Matt, 22, has worked at the Charles Hurst Accident Repair Centre, in Dunmurry for six years, and said it was a great moment when he found out he would be joining the WorldSkills UK team.

"The training was very intense and took up a lot of time including weekends and holidays. As well as preparing for the actual test project, there was a lot of team building to keep your mental attitude right and on track with WorldSkills UK," he said.

In the competition itself Matt had to fit two chassis legs and inner wings, do chassis realignment, fit a quarter panel and finish some hail damage on a bonnet. He was also required to realign all the panels on the car and do an airbag reset using diagnostic equipment, all within 22 hours.

"The atmosphere at the event was unreal, it was buzzing constantly. I would recommend to any other apprentices that if you get the chance to take part, definitely go for it," said Matt, who added that it still hadn't sunk in yet that he'd won a medal.

Gary, also 22, works for John Lennon Accident Repair Specialist in Cookstown, and started there when he was 16. He has been training for the WorldSkills for four years, because of a previous attempt to get into the 2011 London event which he didn't manage to qualify for.

"Because I had tried to get into the team previously I had more knowledge which gave me a bit of an edge. Most of the training nearer to the time of the competition took place with other competitors in the squad, which was very helpful," he said.

Over the four days of the competition, Gary was tasked with completing six modules within the tight time limits. These included car painting tasks such as standard application, wet-on-wet application, spot repair, colour matching and plastic painting.

"I achieved the highest ever score for the UK in Car Painting at WorldSkills," he said.

The WorldSkills Competitions are held every other year and are open to competitors under the age of 23.

Alan Mackrill, Managing Director of IMI Awards, said the event was an excellent showcase of talent for young skilled workers from around the world.

"I would recommend that any IMI Awards student who has the opportunity to take part should think about giving it a go. It is an immensely satisfying achievement for all the competitors and helps set them up for the future of their career," he said.