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KFE4Skills Automotive Finals hosted at EKC Dover College

13 June 2024
Students from across Kent have come together to compete for gold in the KFE4Skills Automotive Finals, hosted at EKC Dover College.

Students from East Kent Colleges Group, MidKent College and North Kent College have come together to compete for gold in the KFE4Skills Automotive Finals.

The finals were hosted at EKC Dover College’s campus in the newly-refurbished automotive workshop.

Eleanor Sherratt, Interim Principal, said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to host a KFE Final for the first time here at Dover. All of the team have got so involved with the organisation and the planning, and to see the event come to life has really paid off.”

Over the course of the day students were tasked with four challenges, designed to test their technical skills and their knowledge of motor vehicles. In each challenge, the students were briefed as if they were working in a garage with ‘clients’ coming in get their cars repaired.

It was then up to them to work out and fix the problem. These involved fixing the brakes, working out why a car had misfired, correcting the alignment of wheels and fixing and testing a car’s alternator.

Two students represented Dover on home turf, with Jay Brown and Jack Whitling from the Level 3 Diploma in Motorsport course facing off against Apprentices from MidKent and NorthKent.

When we spoke to Jay during the finals, he said: “This morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s been a great experience to be a part of. I love that I’ve been able to test what I know and get to grips with the cars. I’ve enjoyed it so much and I’d love to do more competitions in the future.”

Jack said during his final challenge: “It’s been a very different experience and the competition has been fun. I had to get used to someone looking over my shoulder, but the experience made up for that once I got stuck in. The first challenge for me was checking the brakes which I found the hardest, but the last one where I had to look at wheel alignment seemed much easier in comparison.”

The day was also a great way to end the year for our team, and an opportunity to celebrate all that students in Kent have learnt over the past year. 

Head of Department, Ross Evernden, who helped to organise the event said: “The new workshop has been a fantastic setting to host something like this, and it’s been incredible to see just how far Jack and Jay have come since they started College.

We’ve also been helping the apprentices from the other Colleges prepare for their upcoming End-Point assessments which has been an invaluable opportunity for them. Even though it is a competition at the end of the day, everyone’s been really relaxed, both staff and students. It’s been an exciting event to celebrate the end of the year and we can hopefully host these finals again going forward.”

Lecturer Joshua Hackett was also celebratory of what Dover’s students achieved, saying “Jack and Jay have done so well, especially as they’ve been up against apprentices who do this sort of work, day in and day out but they’ve stepped up their game and been tough competition.”

The winner after all four challenges was North Kent College student Brooke.  She said upon receiving her gold medal and certificate: “I’ve really enjoyed today as it’s been a helpful practice for my end point assessment of my apprenticeship. My favourite part about today has just been the challenge and the atmosphere.

As the College is a brand-new environment to me, I’ve further proven to myself that I can adapt to any situation with ease. I love how clean the workshop is and the portable toolboxes have been great to use as these aren’t common in some garages I’ve worked in.”

Joining the judging panel was Programme Director for Automotive William McLean, who loved the experience. He said: “Being a judge has been really interesting. Although the learners come from all different backgrounds, you can’t distinguish their talent and the result was very close.”

We can’t wait to see how Motor Vehicle students such as Jay and Jack progress in the future, with this competition an invaluable experience for them to mention on their CV’s and to look back on in their careers.

Congratulations to all students who took part in this fantastic event, and a special thanks to all the Automotive staff at Dover who made this event possible.

Final Medallists:

Gold: Brooke Gavin (North Kent College)

Silver: Leo Canty (MidKent College)

Bronze: Toby Skinner (North Kent College)

Learn more about our Automotive courses and see what you can achieve by applying today.