Tony hits top gear at national skills qualifier

An Edinburgh College automotive engineering student has driven himself into contention for a final spot in the UK’s biggest skills competition after winning a qualifier designed to test his light vehicle maintenance skills.

Anthony Mailer was awarded first place in the IMI SkillAuto Technology Qualifiers on Monday, beating five students from three other UK colleges at the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry, Northamptonshire. Now he is waiting to hear if his performance has earned him a place at the Worldskills UK Live, in Birmingham in November.

Each student taking part in the challenge completed tasks testing their skills across areas including vehicle inspection, engine mechanical, transmission, braking systems and body electrical.

Livingston-born Tony and his competitors were also given a tour of the Henry Ford Academy and spent time speaking with judges to receive feedback on their performance.

The 36-year-old joined the College after years of searching for his true career calling in life and has now completed three years studying the IMI-approved course at Sighthill Campus.

“It’s been phenomenal, the whole experience”, said Tony. “Coming to the Henry Ford Academy for a look around was amazing in itself but to be competing and testing myself here is amazing.

“I felt like I performed well throughout all of the tasks. I knew I had made one or two wee mistakes but all in all I felt happy at the end of the competition that I had done pretty well.  I couldn’t believe it when they called out my name as the winner of the first heat – it’s really phenomenal.”

Edinburgh College Automotive Engineering curriculum leader Sandy Bruce said: “Congratulations to Tony for winning his qualifier. It’s a brilliant achievement which is testament to the hard work he has put in throughout the year. We’re really looking forward to following his progress again next year and hopefully we will get to see him perform on the big stage at WorldSkills UK Live in November.

“WorldSkills is a prestigious event to be involved in and a fantastic opportunity for students to compete against like-minded individuals from across the country – allowing them to learn new ways of working and share best practice, enhancing their overall development.”