Toyota announces winners of Automotive Skills Masters

Toyota today announced the winners of the Toyota Open Skills Competition, held at the 'Ahoy' in Rotterdam, the Netherlands between the 15th and 17th of March. For Toyota, the inaugural Skills Masters provides the opportunity to emphasise the value of technical knowledge and highlight the opportunities offered by vocational education for the motor industry. Each team was given the opportunity to demonstrate its mastery of practical skills learned through the Toyota Technical Education Programme (T-TEP). The overall winners were Michael Durham, Mathew Cassells and Daniel Done from the UK team.

Tetsuo Agata, Executive Vice President RandD and Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Europe, opened the Skills Competition by saying: "Technical education is the building block on which companies such as Toyota can grow and stay ahead of the times. That is why Toyota is genuinely concerned about the quality of technical education. With our Toyota Technical Education Programme we aim to develop highly educated technicians who understand the Toyota way of working and, hopefully, will work for the Toyota network in the future."

The competition attracted participants from France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK and was intended as a pilot for "Euroskills", the pan-European skills contest, which will take place in Rotterdam in 2008.

The competing teams were all winners of national competitions between the different T-TEP Schools. This programme provides faculty training and technical education materials to different schools worldwide and enables them to train superior technicians for the Toyota network. In Europe, the programme is supported by Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor Europe, the National Sales and Marketing Companies and local authorised repairers. Amongst the technical materials Toyota supplies to the participating schools are simulators, engine cut-aways and various other resources and materials. The authorised repairers also provide on-the-job training to students giving them hands-on experience to broaden their technical knowledge. In financial year 2005, Toyota invested &euro1.18 million in T-TEP. To date, Toyota has created partnerships with about 250 schools in 23 countries across Europe.