Mason Beanland Transdev in Yorkshire

Transdev’s Yorkshire workshop wonders in UK skills challenge

Testing road ahead for bus firm’s mechanical, electrical and bodywork stars

From experienced engineers to rising stars of the workshop – Yorkshire-based bus operator Transdev’s team of all the talents are to take on the ultimate test.

The Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) is celebrating Britain’s best in bus and coach engineering with its annual Bus and Skills Challenge, giving everyone from apprentices to experienced technicians the chance to shine on the national stage.

2024 marks the 12th year the IRTE has staged the Challenge – and this year’s competition, to be held at the S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol between 3 and 7 June, promises to be the toughest yet.

Many of UK bus engineering’s brightest young apprentices will line up alongside experienced and ambitious technicians to show their skills in competition to win one of several prestigious awards – at a time of rapid change as the industry moves towards electric buses, including this year at Transdev’s Harrogate and Keighley depots.

Transdev is entering Keighley-based Engineering Supervisor Zach Loker and Bodybuilding Engineer Mason Beanland as a two-man team.

Three of Transdev’s experienced Yorkshire engineers are also entering individually in the Mechanical Challenge – Harrogate’s John Knox, Bradford-based Joni Ruston and York’s Tim Bowman – while York-based rising star Drew Fleming will compete in the Apprentice Challenge.

Transdev Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti said: “Our competitors include some of our most experienced mechanical, electrical and bodywork engineers, alongside two of our most promising apprentices.

“Through a combination of theoretical and practical tests, everyone taking part gets the chance to show what they’re made of, whether individually or as a team.

“As well as road-testing our industry’s newest technology, it’s a great opportunity to meet others with a passion for engineering and share knowledge, experience and ideas. We think we’ve put together a very talented team – every one of them is looking forward to taking part and hopefully, being among the winners.”

The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Challenging The Status Quo’ and over the years since its inception, over 650 aspiring technicians from big national bus groups and leading regional operators have put themselves to the test.

Society of Engineers Membership and Registration Manager Oliver Teasell said: “The IRTE Skills Challenge isn’t just celebrating excellence, it’s redefining it.

“By challenging the status quo and embracing new technologies, we’re not just testing skills, we’re empowering the next generation to thrive in an environment where innovation and alternative fuels to power public transport will become essential.”

After five days of intense competition, a panel of experienced judges will choose winners in 16 categories, with results due to be revealed in July. Each will take home a trophy and membership of the Society of Engineers, plus a further prize to be announced.

Transdev has well-equipped workshops at each of its Yorkshire operating centres, including at Malton, York, Harrogate, Bradford (Idle), Keighley, Halifax (Elland) and Huddersfield (Waterloo).