Car mechanic revs up to show he’s UK’s best

Callum puts his skills to good use. EMN-141125-175341009
Callum puts his skills to good use. EMN-141125-175341009
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A young car mechanic from the Peterborough area has been heralded as the best in the country.

Twenty-year-old Callum Byrne powered ahead of the rest when he took part in the gruelling 12 hour World Skills UK contest.

He won the coveted gold medal after taking on some of the country’s best vehicle mechanics in the contest at the NEC in Birmingham.

Callum, who has worked for Chapel Motor Repairs, in Baston, for more than four years, said: “It was amazing and I’m delighted to have won.

“It does make me the best young mechanic in the country. It feels really good.

“The best thing was just the experience. Over the week, there must have been about 74,000 people who came along to watch.

“But the worst part was the two hour test in which I had to replace the suspension arm on a Jaguar car. With 50 minutes to go I realised I had put it on the wrong way round.

“I had to race around to get it right. I effectively did a two hour test in just 50 minutes.”

To get to the finals Callum took part in a regional final against 25 other mechanics at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy in Warwick.

He said: “We had to carry out six tasks of 45 minutes length each. I was top of my group of six and later found out I was best of the entire group.

“The finals were a lot more difficult and involved six tasks of two hours each over a week.

“It was a lot more in-depth and involved engine maintenance, brakes, even stripping down an entire engine and rebuilding it.”

Now Callum, who got into the motor repair industry after a chance conversation with a school teacher, said he is hoping to represent the UK at the World Skills finals in Abu Dhabi in two years time.

Callum, a former pupil at Bourne Academy, started a vehicle maintenance and repair apprenticeship at Peterborough Regional College during which he did half a day in the workplace,

He said: “From the moment I started I really enjoyed being in the workshop and I found that I was just good at it.”

Brian Pitts, owner of Chapel Motor Repairs, said: “It was an outstanding performance - exceptional.

“Callum has always done exceptionally well and he’s a nice lad, good natured and has the right attitude to his work. He is head and shoulders above the norm.”

Angela Joyce, college principal, said: “Congratulations to Callum. He demonstrated his skills to the highest level and his ability to stay calm and focus on the competition was exceptional.

“He is an inspiration to current and future students of Peterborough Regional College.”