IAL top techs set to compete on world stage

Isuzu Australia Limited’s (IAL) National Technical Skills Competition (NTSC) has successfully wrapped up for 2021.

The top two from a field of 47 of Australia’s finest Isuzu technicians were chosen to represent their Isuzu dealership and indeed their country on the world stage at Isuzu Motor’s I-1 Grand Prix (I-1 GP).

In Australia, the top two technicians were picked from an exceptionally competitive field, with only a seven per cent difference in combined scores separating first and tenth place.

This year the NTSC challenged technicians with a series of Interactive Virtual Online Diagnostic (IVOD) tests.

Results from the IVOD tests were tallied up against a 60-minute written exam and each tech’s personal scores from their Isuzu Technicians Guild Questionnaires held earlier in 2021.

The I-1 GP finals have traditionally been held at Isuzu Motors head office in Japan, with each country’s qualifying team flying in with a coach to compete in both ‘individual’ and ‘team’ finals.

In essence, the competition remains the same, with individual and team events taking place. However, this year sees each technician competing virtually on home soil, including Australia’s team, which undertakes the tough e-Competition in Brisbane.

Harrison Minnis (commonly known around the workshop as Harry) was this year’s Australian NTSC winner, scoring a perfect 100 per cent during the second virtual failure diagnosis test.

Minnis started his apprenticeship with Brisbane Isuzu at Eagle Farm in 2016, fresh from high school. His determination to see a job from start to finish and to rectify difficult repairs are his key strengths, but he acknowledges there’s more work to do before facing the notoriously difficult I-1 GP competition.

“The knowledge tests for the NTSC were extremely difficult, but we’ve been ramping up our training with weekly exams, so we know what to look out for in this next round,” commented Minnis.

“There’s a lot of maths involved and electrical diagnostics, but I feel like we’re going to do well… with more study!

“There’s always more to learn and I’m always keen to get my foot through any door, which is what this competition is all about.”

Jason Peterkin began his apprenticeship in 1995, working for his father in Darwin, and going on to complete a dual trade qualification specialising in diagnostics for both electrical and mechanical faults.

He joined Tony Ireland Isuzu in 2012 as Leading Hand at the Townsville workshop.

A combination of smarts and on-the-job experience means Peterkin is recognised as one of Australia’s best technicians when it comes to Isuzu’s famous 4JJ1 engine series.

This isn’t his first time on the I-1 GP circuit – he’s competed several times in the NTSC and took home an honourable team fourth place in the 2018 I-1 GP in Japan.

Peterkin scored the highest mark in this year’s NTSC Technical Knowledge exam, earning him a well-deserved spot on the 2021 Australian team.

“The NTSC tests are definitely getting harder each year, and this year’s was daunting at first being fully virtual, but it’s come out to be a well-polished competition,” said Peterkin.

“The level of experience and competition is always very, very high, but I’m quietly confident of our chances this year.”

 

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