A COVENTRY man has been named the best Mechanical Technician at the national IRTE Skills Challenge Awards, writes Holly Martin.
Craig Perkins, the engineering technical trainer for National Express West Midlands, secured his hot spot by demonstrating skills, knowledge and quick-thinking during the IRTE Skills Challenge competition in June.
The 32-year-old achieved the highest score against his category competitors from across the whole UK bus and coach industry.
Competitors had to complete a range of practical and theory tests which Craig was able to quickly complete – diagnosing gearbox, brake and caliper faults while clearly explaining how the faults occurred.
Craig started with National Express 15 years ago and, after being in a customer-facing role, he was enlisted on the company’s apprenticeship scheme where he qualified four years later.
In 2016 he briefly left the company and worked as a DVSA Vehicle Inspector before returning to National Express Coventry as a Engineering Supervisor in 2018.
Craig, who was also runner-up in the Inspector Technician Category, said: “This has to be one of the proudest achievements in my working career- I never thought I would even get close to the top ten, never mind win the whole category.”
Other National Express team members also fared well with bodymaker Chris Little runner-up in the Bodywork Technician category and Glenn Danks, a mechanic by trade, doing well in the electrical category.