Global fleet company celebrates industry talent through national competition

Fortune 500 global fleet management company, Ryder, celebrated its technical talent at the final of its UK TopTech recognition programme recently at Leicestershire’s Stephenson College. 

The event saw five talented finalists from the company’s 296 UK-based  Technicians go head-to-head in a series of six, 45-minute challenges. The finalists were measured on their diagnostic skills, technical abilities, adherence to health and safety, and quality workmanship.

Thanks to the success of last year’s event, Stephenson College, located in Coalville, was once again chosen to host Ryder’s UK TopTech recognition programme at its state-of-the-art campus on Thornborough Road. The college delivers Ryder’s Trainee HGV Technician Apprenticeship Scheme, which has been running for more than 25 years. 

The annual competition was open to all Ryder HGV Technicians throughout the UK and the finalists outshone over 200 other Ryder Technicians over the course of two rounds to reach the challenging final round. 

The winner was announced as Rhys Anderson from Edinburgh at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Appleby Park Hotel that same evening. The event not only celebrated the winner, but every Technician who took part. 

As part of the ceremony, Rhys was awarded with the cut crystal winner’s trophy, which will be on display in Ryder’s Edinburgh location until UK TopTech 2020, a £2,000 cash prize, and an all-expenses paid trip to see the live final of US TopTech in Indianapolis, USA.

Another success story is Alistair Davis, former Ryder apprentice and Grand Finale Runner Up. Alistair will be completing his HNC this year. His appearance in the Grand Finale serves as real evidence of the quality of Ryder’s Apprentice Programme at Stephenson College, as well as what apprentices can go on to achieve. 

These weren’t the only prizes, as each finalist was presented with a host of gifts including; finalists’ cheques, a £500 Snap-on voucher, Bridgestone and DAF watches, Mercedes and DAF branded duffel bags, a Fitbit and Mercedes branded jackets.

The UK TopTech 2019 winner did extremely well in the Grand Finale, however it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Rhys, as the opening tasks put each Technician’s nerves to the test.

Rhys said: “My hands were shaking during the start of the first task. Even though these are things we could see on a daily basis in the workshop, it’s a totally different environment at the college. As time went on, we all began to settle down, and we could really show everyone why we deserved to be in the Grand Finale.

“I’m proud to have won the competition; I wasn’t expecting it all. I was up against some very tough competition, they all deserved to be in the final – it’s great to see us all being recognised.”

Mark Walker, Faculty Head, Technology and Professional Services at Stephenson College was honoured to host the event once again and said: “We were delighted to host this industry competition, which really demonstrated the first-class talent at Ryder and within the sector. I was particularly delighted to see Alistair Davis in the final, who completed his Technician Apprenticeship here at Stephenson College. The motor industry is crying out for more talent and there is so much opportunity for growth, from Level 3 through to Level 5 as their careers progress. 

“Congratulations to Rhys and to all those who took part for the commitment and talent they demonstrated throughout the competition.”

It was definitely a close competition as Mark Carlin, General Manager – Network at Ryder, explained: “It was a great showing by each of the five Technicians. It was such a close call, with a few points separating the top two, and even first from fifth.

“All the finalists gave it a real good go, and you could see that. It wasn’t clear who would win the competition until the final task.

“Well done to all our finalists. They all did so well to make it to the Grand Finale – Tony Adamson, Alistair Davis, Jamie Hussey, Lee Kirsop, and Rhys Anderson – UK TopTech 2019.”

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