A Honda Apprentice Becomes Team UK Member For WorldSkills London 2011

The WorldSkills London 2011 global competition sees 1000 competitors compete in 46 skills including automotive engineering, landscape gardening, plumbing and web design.

John Couldridge, a Honda Technician, has secured a place on Team UK for the WorldSkills London 2011 event (between 5th and 8th October 2011), where he will be competing in the 'Automobile Technology' skills category against contemporaries from 50 countries around the world.

Three qualifying competitions have taken place over two years, along with hundreds of hours of training. John has successfully beaten around 1500 other hopefuls from major automotive manufacturers and independent garages.

The WorldSkills London 2011 global competition sees 1000 competitors compete in 46 skills including automotive engineering, landscape gardening, plumbing and web design. Competitors can be awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals as well as medallions for excellence awarded to competitors who achieve the international standard.

John graduated from from Honda's apprentice programme in 2009 and now works for Glyn Hopkin Honda in Chelmsford. He said: "I'm absolutely delighted! I've lived, breathed and slept this thing for two years now and to finally have my place confirmed is just awesome. My friends, my partner and my family have been behind me 100% so naturally, they're all over the moon, too. I couldn't have done it without them or the incredible support I've been given by my training manager and also everyone at the dealership. Obviously, the training has meant that I've been away from my full-time job quite a lot and I've felt a bit bad about that from time to time but there was no need - they've been behind me all the way. It's fantastic to be able to tell them that I'm through to Team UK."

Along the way to success, John competed against another Honda technician, Alex Knight who works at Gatwick Honda in his final year of a three year apprenticeship. Alex made it through to Squad UK, where he went head to head against John for a place in Team UK. "John and I have forged a really strong friendship as we've gone through this whole process and yes, I'm disappointed not to have made it through - I wouldn't be human if I wasn't - but I can honestly say that I'm delighted for him and will be behind him all the way. The process has given me the chance to learn so much about myself and what I'm capable of - it's really opened my eyes. I've also been given a fantastic opportunity by Honda this year and have been working as part of the Honda Racing Team at this year's British Touring Car Championship - I'm a massive motorsport fan so it really is a 'dream come true' experience."

Neil Fletcher, Head of European Training and Honda Institute comments: "John graduated from the Honda apprentice programme in 2009 with flying colours. He also won our 'Apprentice of the Year' award so he is clearly a star in the making. He's done an incredible job making it onto Team UK and his achievement truly reflects Honda's philosophy of striving for excellence in all that we do. Everyone at Honda (UK) is immensely proud of him."

Published 30 June 2011 Staff

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