Auto Skills students receive a career jump start

Morpeth-based Gott Technical Services has announced the winning students of an automotive design competition from Gateshead College.

Last September saw the leading North East maintenance equipment supplier set the project for pairs of students
from across all year groups at the College’s Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics, recently reaching a verdict on the
winning entries.

Sean Patton and Orin Rowe, both 18-years-old from Gateshead, were awarded first place by Gott Technical
Services director Ian Gott. The winning pair is currently enrolled on the Level 2 body repair and paint refinishing course.

To enter, students were asked to design a piece of garage equipment that would facilitate the work that garage owners and technicians carry out on a day-to-day basis. Sean and Orin teamed up to design the 'magni-mate' – a magnetic tool holder invention that would help
to avoid tools getting lost or misplaced in the workshop.

For their winning entry, Sean and Orin have been given the opportunity to spend time on placement with both Gott Technical Services and Benfield Motor Group to gain real industry experience.

Orin said: “I was shocked that there wasn’t already something like our product in the marketplace as it’s so
simple but effective. I don’t just see it as relevant for car workshops but for anufacturing and other types of workshops – a multi-industry design.

“We were over the moon when we found out we had won and are really looking forward to the placements. The
activities we will be taking on, especially those in cosmetic repair, will help us to extend the skills we are currently building in college. It’s also a great opportunity to get our foot in the door with local dealerships.”

Runners up Jason O’Niell and Josh Anderson who designed ‘the paint suit’, and Jack Lowes and Mitchell Shalgosky who designed the ‘nut-buster 1000’ have each received Halfords vouchers for their initiatives that just missed out on the top spot.

Ian said: “It was very apparent that the top three pairs of students had really put thought into their idea and
explored it as though it would be realised as a manufactured product. Sean and Orin’s design is a thoroughly viable concept and I could see the value that it would bring to a garage environment.

“I hope that all of the students found taking part in the project enjoyable and informative. I think that it is beneficial to those in education to be set real industry objectives in order to encourage them to think forward to their future career.

“Sean and Orin’s placement will provide them with an invaluable insight into a professional workplace and the diverse range of tasks encountered on a day-to-day basis. I feel that it is important to bridge the gap on gaining a qualification to applying those skills in practical situations.”

Gateshead College tutor Richard Winship said: “This competition is a great example of the type of learning we
offer at the college and what makes us stand out –valuable industry links that offer the chance to get real work experience that will ultimately ensure our students have a better chance of getting a job once they complete the course.”

The competition was open to students on motor vehicle mechanic, body repair and paint, welding and engineering courses at the specialist training department of Gateshead College. Sean and Orin will take up their placements throughout April and May 2013.