Technician is best on the buses

Aylesbury Arriva depot's Daniel Gardner
Aylesbury Arriva depot's Daniel Gardner

An apprentice electrician who works at Arriva’s Aylesbury depot impressed in a competition which seeks out the best bus engineers in industry.

Daniel Gardner, 27, represented the bus firm at the IRTE Skills Challenge, which sees teams battle it out in a series of mechanical, electrical and bodywork challenges.

Daniel was named the top scoring electrical apprentice in the contest.

He won top-notch tool kits from Teng Tools, as well as a day of training with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the government agency responsible for ensuring the UK’s buses are fit for the road.

Daniel originally worked in the banking sector but decided to follow his interest in vehicles which lead to him starting an apprenticeship for Arriva in 2012.

Colin Harris, 41, from the Milton Keynes depot gave Arriva more reasons to celebrate after clinching top scoring electrical technician and IRTE award for outstanding achievement gongs.

Lloyd Mason, engineering development manager for Arriva UK Bus, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“The team were all nervous but really looking forward to it.

“To see that they have come away with awards is fantastic; it’s a real confidence booster and confirmation that they are doing something right.

“As more operators participate each year it is especially rewarding for these engineers to comes out on top, proving they are the best in their discipline.”

Sir Moir Lockhead OBE, IRTE patron and former chief executive of transport company FirstGroup, says: “For me it’s really good to see apprentices and technicians rewarded for being the best at what they do.

“I’m convinced that standards now are much higher than when I was doing my apprenticeship, and my congratulations go to all the winners of IRTE Skills Challenge 2014.”

The annual competition has been embraced by bus operators nationwide like Arriva, Abellio, FirstGroup and Metroline as a way of promoting their company’s commitment to the skills and training of staff.

IRTE is a professional body supporting road transport engineers.