Edmonton, Alberta — Post-secondary autobody repair students faced off last week at Skills Alberta’s Post-Secondary Provincial Skills Competition, where only one could be awarded the title of Alberta’s greatest young autobody repairer or automotive refinisher.
The competition took place May 4 and 5, where contestants spent six hours each day demonstrating their skills at six different autobody repair stations, performing dent repairs on both aluminum and steel; plastic repair; aluminum welding; measuring and a choice event.
This year’s Skills Alberta Provincials are extra special, as this is a qualifying year to earn a spot on Team Canada to compete at WorldSkills Shanghai 2022. The gold medallist will compete in the Team Canada category in all WorldSkills qualifying competitions.
For the autobody repair portion of the competition, Hannah Ganske took the bronze, Mo Daiyoub claimed silver and Maxwell Fisher secured gold, in addition to the category’s safety award for his attention to PPE and precautions.
In car painting at the post-secondary level, Dorien Lozeau took home his second straight gold, securing his spot to compete at Nationals and vie for a chance at Shanghai. Brett Johnson and Andrea Shaw took home the silver and bronze, respectively; Lois Marks claimed the safety award.
While this year’s competition went without the large audiences of years past, thanks to COVID-19, senior consultant at Canadian Collision Specialist and member of Skills Alberta’s Autobody Repair Committee Stefano Liessi said the competitors were as talented as ever.
“A couple of competitors received perfect scores,” he told Collision Repair over the phone. “And our rubric is not a walk in the park.”
Liessi said Alberta takes its skills competitions extra-seriously.
“[Skills Alberta] competitions really rival the nationals. They put serious effort into it—it’s high end.”
This year’s endeavour couldn’t have happened without the support of industry partners like 3M and Color Compass, he added.
While Alberta’s events are top-tier, Liessi said he finds it disappointing many facilities opt to keep their talent on the floor, rather than miss two days of work for the competition.
“The competition is an advertising mecca for technicians,” he explained. “We had one volunteer come in from a shop in Sherwood Park; when they got here, they were stunned that so few shopowners had shown up.
“If you win Nationals, you can tell your customers you have one of the best technicians or painters in Canada working in your shop.’ It’s a no-brainer, really.”