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“Andrew Gault World Skills Bronze Medal Winner Abu Dhabi 2017”

Andrew Gault with Bronze Medal

November 2017 - The Riverpark Training Team heading to SkillAuto 2017

Cillian Campbell   Ruairi Neeson   Scott Patterson

Light Vehicle maintenance and Repair
Riverpark Training have now launched it’s selective “Apprentice Auto Technician course”. We have decided this year to offer this additional strand of training to vehicle dealerships and repair workshops. This group has been carefully selected and only 12 students will be selected to join this group. Our intention is to build a quality training strand for the light vehicle repair sector of the motor industry. We understand there is a lot of training available for this sector but we at Riverpark Training have been interviewing and selecting these high calibre students based on their qualifications and practical skill ability.

Vehicle Parts and Administration Course
Riverpark Training have noticed a significant drop in numbers applying for the “Parts” course, this mirrors a noticeable drop in young people applying for apprenticeships in general at Riverpark Training this year. The main cause seems to be that students have decided to return to school. The knock-on effect to the Motor Industry could have staffing issues in later years, young people applying for an apprenticeship is not a numbers game it is about supply of the right person to the employer. This year we have noticed that the quality young person is harder to find therefore we have invested in significant time with a new school engagement programme that will target the genuinely interested young person.

Careers Fair 2017

As part of a new incentive for careers engagement the Riverpark Training team have just completed a 2-day event at Titanic Exhibition where they provided hands on practical demonstrations on vehicle panel polishing and plastic welding to school leavers from all over Northern Ireland.

Trevor Doyle Vehicle Parts Tutor providing some hands-on experience with polishing techniques.

The stand has proved very popular with over 100 students completing an expression of interest. This is the message we need to get out to school leavers. University is not for everyone and apprenticeships can deliver an alternative route to higher education. We have seen time and time again that young people with good hand skills can develop very well in a practical career, but this also needs to be supported by employers engaging in apprenticeships rather than providing work placements that have no career progression. We at Riverpark, will be over the next 9 months, working hard to ensure we can supply the Motor Industry with good quality young people for their future developments. If you are an employer and interested in our strategy for investing is the future of your business please contact us on 02890342400 or email

October - Andrew Gault Wins Bronze at World Skills 2017

On the 10th October 2017 Andrew Gault (Glen Allen Body Repair) travelled to London to join the World Skills UK team for a formal send off by the Minister for Skills “Ann Milton MP”. He then travelled the following day to World Skills Abu Dhabi, where on the 14th October he started his competition against 21 competitors from all over the world. The Autobody Repair section that Andrew competed in has been sponsored this year by Mercedes Benz and therefore we knew that the vehicle he would be working on would be a “A” class and Mercedes Benz have donated 22 body shells to World Skills Abu Dhabi for the purpose of this competition. Andrew has been attending training at Riverpark Training and E.M.T.E.C. Nottingham for the last year to prepare him for this massive task.

Anne Milton, MP for Guildford (Skills Minister) Andrew Gault Neil Bentley (CEO World Skills UK)

Andrew’s tasks at World Skills 2017
During the World Skills competition, Andrew had to mount the “A” class body shell to a Car-O-Liner chassis jig, pull and correct 1 chassis leg, remove and replace an inner and outer “A” post, refit a new quarter panel, repair a severely damaged door and tailgate to a metal finish, repair 4 hail damage dents to the aluminium bonnet and all this within 17 hours.

Day 1
On day one we had a 4-hour delay as the 22 Judges had to re-write the competition due to some panels not being delivered on time. Originally the task was to include replacement of a chassis leg, but this was changed to include an “A” post. Andrew started buy mounting the vehicle using Car-O-Liner Evo 3 system (Andrew had already practiced this using these brackets at Riverpark thanks to brackets borrowed from Isaac Agnew ARC).

Day 2
Andrew started this day by cutting and removing the inner and outer “A” post and quarter panel, as the inner “A” post on this vehicle contained UHSS steels this provided difficulties for all competitors with most drills being burnt out after 2 spot weld removals. Andrew coped well with this task and he and the swiss competitor started to take a lead at this stage. Most of the 22 countries competing practice the tasks they expect to experience at World Skills many times and therefore those countries with the financial advantage usually take the lead at this stage. Because this competition had been changed at the last stages due to chassis legs not being available this then allowed the true panel skills to come to the fore as each competitor had to rely on their natural skills to understand the tasks.

Day 3
Day 3 started with Andrew having his tasks to date being marked, this was for alignment and measurement, removal techniques and cleaning for acceptance of welded panels. Andrew scored very well at this stage and this is when we started to believe Andrew could do well in this competition. He then started to cut his new panels for alignment, these are measured for millimetre perfection and a 1mm tolerance is applied to all cut lines. By the end of time allowed on day 3 Andrew had fitted the rear quarter panel, applied adhesives to all replacement panels and spot welded the quarter panel into place. At this stage he and only another 4 competitors had these tasks completed with Korea and Japan starting to lag behind for the first time in the last 3 World Skills Competitions. This started to show how good Andrew actually was, and the possibility of a medal started to become a real possibility.

Quarter panel welded and bonded

Metal finish to door

Day 4
Andrew had at this stage only 4 hours left to complete all remaining tasks, these were: complete welding of quarter panel, weld outer “A”post, dress and grind all welds, metal finish repair to door, finish remaining hail damage to bonnet and replace door, wing tailgate and bonnet. This is when Andrew found 5th gear and stepped up to the mark. However, he lost some marks on the quarter panel at this stage as the welded join collapsed in on him causing him to maximise his time on the remaining tasks. By the end of the 4 hours Andrew had completed all tasks except mounting the bonnet and tailgate but these only carried out 0.5 of a mark each so he had used his time wisely as the important tasks were to a good standard.

Final moment when time is up.

Andrew Gault with Bronze Medal

Final results:
China = Gold (736 marks)   Switzerland =  Silver (731 marks)  United Kingdom = Bronze (723 marks)

Riverpark Training have now mentored and trained 6 young people from Northern Ireland to compete at World Skills competitions in five different countries over the world. Our young apprentices have achieved 1 Gold, 4 Bronze and 1 Medallion of Excellence, we know of no other college or training provider throughout the UK and Ireland that has achieved so many World Skills achievements from 2 vocational areas (Autobody Repair and Car Painting).
We are also very proud of the achievement by Daryl Head of Nationwide Bodyshops Swindon who achieved a Silver Medal for Car Painting at World Skills 2017. Riverpark Training was one of the main training providers involved with Daryl’s training as we have had significant experience at training Car Painting to this level. Daryl was originally trained at Thatcham Apprentice Academy, and has now achieved the highest UK medal in Car Painting.

Bodyshop Magazine Awards.
This year again Riverpark Training attended the annual industry excellence awards hosted by Bodyshop Magazine. This year it was held in the Hilton Hotel Birmingham.
Rachel Murray (Charles Hurst ARC), competed in the Thatcham Young Painter competition in June earlier this year and has achieved “top four”.  Riverpark Training have been nominated again for the 5th consecutive year for the “Education Award” and was awarded finalist again in this category,  Agnew ARC Belfast have also achieved “Finalist” for the 3rd year in a row for the “Large Bodyshop” category.

SkillAuto Finals 2017
We can now confirm that 4 apprentices have made it through to the national skills finals 2017 being held in the NEC Birmingham starting on the 16th November. They are Cillian Campbell (Wrights ARC Dromore), Scott Patterson (Wrights ARC Dromore), Ruairi Neeson (Agnew ARC) in the Autobody Repair section and Conor McKevitt (Wrights ARC Dromore) in the Car Painting section. Training for this will now commence on Saturdays to prepare these skilled apprentices to showcase their skills to a possible audience of over 100,000. If they score higher than 60% they could also progress to Squad Selection for World Skills 2019 which is being held in Kasan Russia.
2 other apprentices from North West Regional College will also be joining or boys at Skill Auto 2017 they are Jordan Barlow (Lloyd Cooke Motors) in the Autobody Repair section and Dylan Russell (Kerr Bros Omagh) in the Car Painting section. This leaves 4 of the 6 final competitors for the Autobody Repair section are from Northern Ireland and 2 of the 6 in Car Painting are also from Northern Ireland. Proving yet again that the skills set in Northern Ireland punches well above its weight in Accident Repair.
All of the competitors from these groups who achieve the necessary percentage at Skill Auto 2017 and are age eligible for World Skills 2019 will be selected from this group. This is now the only list of apprentices from Northern Ireland that can possibly progress to the world stage.


May 2017 – Andrew Gault achieved a place in “Team” for World Skills 2017 Abu Dhabi

Frazer Minskip (left) Andrew Gault (right) World Skills Training Manager.


October 2016 – IMI Outstanding Achievers Award

Elliott McAnally is a finalist in IMI Outstanding Achievers Award
(Non- Technical)

Andrew Gault wins IMI Outstanding Achievers Award
(Body Repair)


December 2015 – Riverpark Training Wins 3 Medals at the 2015 Skills Show. 

Andrew Gault
Gold Medal
Autobody Repair

Andrew McClure / Jonathan McNaughter
Silver Medal
Autobody Repair / Car Painting


December 2015 – Demand for ATA at Riverpark Training outstripping capacity. 

All Body shops in NI requiring  ATA reaccreditation need to book 6 months in advance to avoid disappointment.


August 2015 - Rebecca Wilson wins bronze Medal At World Skills 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

After much hard work and meticulous preparation Riverpark Training & Development trainee Rebecca Wilson wins Bronze Medal at World skills Sao Paulo, Brazil.


June 2015 Colin Hagan, the managing director of Riverpark Training in Mallusk was awarded the MBE for his services to vocational training in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.


Riverpark Training have had another fantastic year of recognition in 2014

In 2013 Riverpark Training achieved Bodyshop Magazine’s “Education Award” and was also the winner of the IMI’s “Specialist Centre of the Year”. Now in 2014 Riverpark Training have won both awards again. Proving yet again that we deliver the highest standard of training available to both students and adults.

Recently we have also added a new initiative to train students and technicians from all over Ireland in a 2 strand approach. Firstly there is a pilot scheme for apprentices who want to gain quality training by attending training 2 days a month for 6 months then assessed at Automotive Accreditation Standard and if successful they will gain that award.

Secondly we have a bespoke training scheme for technicians to up-skill on specific training needs to improve their skills and also progress to ATA standard. This is also designed to improve productivity and bodyshop bottom line.


Riverpark Training Competitors at World Skills Leipzig 2013

In the final run up to the competition, the training really intensified.  Matthew Quinn took part in the Canadian Skills Games in Vancouver in early June and this proved to be a good bench marking for him as he beat the Canadian competitor for World Skills.  This was the confidence boost he needed.  On return, he was tasked to complete the test project within the same time frame as he would expect in Germany.  Gary had to up his game too, so pressure was applied by Jonathan Lloyd, and Gary’s training manager.  These final days proved invaluable to both of the competitors.  Both myself and Jonathan commented that everybody involved with these guys training had done all they could and it was now up to them to demonstrate their skill on a World Skills stage.

Both lads made an excellent start to the competition and very few marks were lost on day 1.  I spoke to both of them after the first day and their spirits were up and they both were enjoying the challenge, but not the heat, as temperatures Leipzig were hitting 28 degrees.

Day 2 and the pressure was now on.  Matthew was coping well and Gary was confident that he was on track, they were now experiencing the full pressure of this level of competition and looking around them they could see the high level of talent from around the world.  Both of them were up against 24 highly skilled competitors from countries like Korea, China, Japan and Australia not to mention all of Europe and the Americas.

Day 3 and Matthew was starting to make some silly mistakes, nothing that would cost him dearly but he knew any marks lost could be the difference between a Medal or not.  Gary felt more comfortable and knew he had gained marks where he wanted but concerns were highlighted about the colour matching task.

Day 4 and the final few hours left to complete.  Matthew had removed and refitted the quarter panel, carried out the metal finish and fitted the forward part of 1 of the chassis legs; he now had to weld in the remaining chassis leg and repair 4 hail damage dents to the bonnet.  Time now really was the pressure, but he remained composed and although sweating heavily, remained focused on the end goal.  Gary was more confident he had completed the difficult measuring and marking out task and used his time wisely to ensure he retained as many marks as possible.  When each competition ended all the individual countries supporters gathered around and cheered their competitor at the competition end, the atmosphere was electric and both Matthew and Gary were elated that it was now over and judging would begin.

The Results
Matthew Quinn     Bronze Medal
Gary Greer          Medallion of Excellence

Both these young technicians have competed against the best of the world and have demonstrated that young talented people from Northern Ireland have the skills to take on the best in the world and prove their skill level is up there with the highly productive nations like Korea and Japan.  This result also highlights that the skill level in the Motor Industry in Northern Ireland is up there with the rest of the world also and that we have the engineering skills required to repair and refinish modern vehicles.

Riverpark Training would like to thank all who made the journey possible for Matthew and Gary, firstly their employers, Charles Hurst Accident Repair Centre and John Lennon’s Body Repairs. Without the support of these committed employers and the time they allowed both of these competitors away for training, these results would not have been attained. Also thanks to the World Skills Managers, Frazer Minskip and Jonathan Lloyd who persistently kept the pressure on so that both lads were prepared for the task. Finally thanks to the training staff at Riverpark Training and Teach Weld Training who gave up their Saturdays and moved training schedules around so that priority was placed on maximum achievement.

Colin Hagan
Training Manager
Riverpark Training

2013 / 2014 term

Riverpark Training are currently enrolling students for the 2013/2014 term, if you are interested in a career in the Accident Repair industry or are an employer seeking a keen enthusiastic apprentice then contact Riverpark Training on 02890342400 or visit  and complete the on-line application form.

We currently have availability in the following courses:

Vehicle Body Repair level 2/3

Vehicle Refinishing level 2/3

Vehicle Fitting level 2/3

Vehicle Parts level 2/3

New Vehicle Parts Course

We would be very keen to engage with parts distributors throughout Northern Ireland to deliver a quality training course specific to their needs.  Quite often this sector gets forgotten about when it comes to apprenticeships, but good quality staff is best home grown.  We at Riverpark Training have developed a quality training and assessment course that will be tailored to every individuals needs.


Team selection for World Skills 2013.

Team selection for Autobody repair, Car Painting and Autotech took place at E.M.T.E.C. outside Nottingham on the 5th-8th March. Riverpark Training was highly represented by having all of the competitors in body and paint.

Car Painting was contested between Rebecca Wilson (Bell’s Accident Repair) and Gary Greer (John Lennon’s Accident Repair). Patrick Quinn (Quinn Hearse and Limousine) who had also qualified for the event could not compete due to a recent appendix operation so had to observe from the side lines. They were also pitted against Emelie Dammare the Swedish competitor for world skills 2013. They had to mix match and apply paint to a wing and door, this was also two tone inside and out, they had to paint a bonnet and measure and mark out a design, carry out a spot repair and colour match a three stage plastic part, all within 22 hours. The tension was obvious throughout as both Rebecca and Gary had high intentions of winning and joining the World Skills UK Team.

Rebecca Wilson                             Gary Greer                         Emelie Dammare

In the end and after one and a half days of deliberation the final competitor was announced and Gary Greer will now go forward to World Skills Leipzig 2013.

Autobody Repair was contested differently; as Matthew Quinn (Hurst Accident Repair Centre) was the sole contestant he was pitted against Jonas Friis Anderson of Denmark.

Matthew had to compete to gain enough marks to ensure he could make the grade of previous competitors at this stage in world skills and the Danish competitor was more of a bench mark to allow him to see what international competitions are like. Matthew had to remove and replace a complete chassis leg, replace a sectioned chassis leg, replace a quarter panel, repair a badly damaged door to a metal finish and repair three hail damage marks to a bonnet and like the painters all within 22 hours.

After long deliberation and one and a half days of Judges head scratching Matthew was finally informed that he had gained enough marks to join the World Skills UK Team.

The task ahead for both Gary and Matthew will not be easy, from what we seen of the skill demonstrated from Denmark and Sweden the bench mark for medals at World Skills will be high. Riverpark Training has however committed to support World Skills UK and will provide the facility and trainers every Saturday and any other days we can make available until July to ensure these young apprentices have the best support possible.


Riverpark Training Apprentices Going for Gold in 2013

Gary Greer and Matthew Quinn

ATA and Welding Up-Date

Windscreen ATA took place again on the13th-14th of March and this will now be the last one for this year, this now completes all technicians in Northern Ireland that required this qualification to work in PAS125 approved bodyshops. Senior Panel will be available on the 7th-9th of May and at time of going to press one space is still available.

As Panel ATA is now being requested as part of the CSS in Southern Ireland for Panel Technicians anybody interested in this assessment is welcome to attend and view how this is carried out, all we would ask is that you contact us on 02890342400 to book, as there will be candidates under assessment and limited numbers will have access to the assessment area and task as it is critical not to disrupt proceedings.

BSI 4872 &BSI 1140 is currently available at Riverpark Training, we supply an inspector on site and provide the destructive tests for this requirement also, please be aware that this is now a pre requisite for Senior Panel ATA.

Paint ATA assessments  have also been carried out on the 15th-16th March, further assessment are planned for August as we are aware that some former apprentice NVQ Level 3’s are now running out and full ATA will now be required.


Bodyshop Up-Date Evening

There was a bodyshop owners and bodyshop staff event on the 10th April 2013, Peter Coffey from Bodyshop Solutions will gave a talk on the new riveting and bonding process now being incorporated into vehicle repair, he also demonstrated the new Wielander Schill riveting technology, which attracted a lot of interest. There were also stands from Karkraft, Nexa, Power Tech, Farcela and Concept.

Karkraft nominated a Devilbliss Spray Gun for a free raffle; this was won by Hanover Motors.


Riverpark Training would like to stage further similar events to the Motor Industry, if you have any suggestions our would like the use of our facility please email us at


Riverpark Training wins Prestigious I.M.I. Award

On March 12th at the Savoy Hotel in London, Riverpark Training was presented with The Institute of the Motor Industry Skillmiles Award for Training Provider 2013. This prestigious award was presented to Riverpark Training by HRH Prince Michael of Kent for the extensive work carried out helping to progress the work of the IMI and for the training required to achieve 5 out of 6 medals won at the Skills Show in November 2012. Riverpark Training beat off all the colleges and training providers throughout the UK to win this award, this was down to the commitment and dedication of the entire training staff and their ability to do whatever it takes to deliver the best available training for these students wanting to demonstrate their skills on a national and now international stage.



Success at the Northern Ireland Skill Auto Competition

David Stewart from DA Stewart Accident Repair has come 1st in the panel section of the Northern Ireland Skill Auto competition held at Southern Regional College on the 22nd of March. Neil Gibson of Charles Hurst Accident Repair also achieved 3rd place in the Car Painting section.


Riverpark Training has launched a new employer incentive for Bodyshops who currently have apprentices or want to take on new apprentices in 2013. It is our intention to support those who have supported us or those who want to come on board with us as their training provider. Therefore we want to help reduce your cost and help make your business more profitable by employing a young person in 2013/2014. The following is what we will offer to bodyshops using Riverpark Training as their source of apprenticeship training.

1/ Apprentice training on modern methods and modern vehicles
2/ Reduced costs for BSI Welding Tests (no tutor fee normally £150.00 per day)
3/ Monthly reports on each apprentice’s progress
4/ 20% of all ATA training and assessment (2013 only) Panel, Paint and MET
5/ 10% of QAA courses (panel bonding/electric vehicle awareness etc)
6/ Free training on the use of Thatcham Escribe (evenings only)
7/ Free Advice on repair methods where available
8/ Free BSI Welding tests for Level 3 Panel Apprentices
9/ Additional training for Level 3 Refinishers on Air Brush Techniques.
10/ Free computer training for small bodyshops owners.

Ten reasons why Riverpark Training can help you and your business succeed by employing young motivated people who have a keen interest in a career in the Accident Repair Sector.

Together we can move forward