Durrington mechanic’s skills put to the test

Worthing apprentice Charlie Newell with Halfords Autocentres CEO, Duncan Wilkes
Worthing apprentice Charlie Newell with Halfords Autocentres CEO, Duncan Wilkes
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A DURRINGTON man has been named one of the best young mechanics in the country after reaching the finals of a national competition.

Charlie Newell, 20, was one of just 10 young mechanics to reach the final of Halfords Autocentres Apprentice of the Year competition, the garage network’s skills competition, which saw him take on fellow apprentices from around the country to compete for the title.

Charlie, who works at the Halfords Autocentre in Broadwater Street West, is among 180 young apprentices employed by the company, the largest apprentice programme of its kind in the UK.

The second-year apprentice was nominated to take part in the competition by company managers who, recognising his potential, encouraged him to put his skills to the test.

Charlie said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship and competing in this competition has been a real highlight.

“The final was quite nerve-wracking as you had to complete all of the tasks within a certain time and while being watched by an assessor, so you really felt the pressure.”

The final, hosted at training provider ProVQ’s workshop near Shrewsbury, saw the 10 talented technicians compete against the clock over a number of tasks, including a vehicle safety inspection and fault diagnosis challenges.

Charlie impressed with his consistent technical competency, expertise and ability to maintain a cool head under pressure.