Auto Windscreens’ technician Steve Abrahams demonstrated that Auto Windscreens is among the ‘world’s best’ when it comes to vehicle glass repairs by clinching the bronze Pilkington Clear Advantage Auto Glass Technician Competition (AGTO) medal at Auto Glass Week™ in Texas, USA on Friday.
Steve competed in the ‘large-size company’ category at the international event, which was held from 5 to 7 October, alongside colleague Paul Gilbert. He made the final after impressing judges in the heats with his expertise and technical skills.
Both Steve and Paul were selected to represent Auto Windscreens, a leading UK automotive glass repair and replacement provider, at a global level after being named champions of the company’s internal ‘Clearly the Best’ 2016 competition. Steve is also the reigning WorldSkills UK Master Fitter gold medallist.
Of his podium position, Steve commented: “As the only UK competitors, we were welcomed with open arms and I am so pleased to have been named one of the top three. We knew there would be some strong competitors and the heat was tough, especially as we had to align our work to US standards, which are different the UK’s. It proved good preparation for the final where concentration and focus were needed at all times.”
Auto Glass Week™ also gave attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest products and practices through a series of seminars, one of which was presented by Auto Windscreens’ Technical and Innovation Manager, Tony Green. Tony gave the predominantly American audience an insight into Auto Windscreens’ strategies and how the business has grown to become one of the largest players in the UK vehicle glass repair market. Addressing visitors during his talk entitled ‘Beating Goliath – Focus on your strategy’, he put an emphasis on customer service, staff engagement and new ideas as key drivers behind the company’s success.
Rupert Armitage, Auto Windscreens’ Managing Director, commented on the team’s overseas accomplishments: “We are all incredibly proud of the Steve and Paul’s achievements at Auto Glass Week 2016. Both performed amazingly under immense pressure. Tony’s presentation also proved a popular session. While Auto Windscreens operates largely in the UK, we have demonstrated that our innovations, standards and business are world class.”
GQA’s Sean Hayes commented on the achievement “As the Awarding Organisation who has been writing and quality assuring the delivery of Automotive glazing NVQs for over 20 years it was great to see Autowindscreens represented at this prestigious industry event by achievers of GQA qualifications.”
Both Steve and Paul have recently completed GQA qualifications; Paul achieved the GQA Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Automotive Glazing, Steve had previously achieved this qualification and as part of Autowindscreens’ commitment to ongoing training and qualifications he recently completed the GQA Level 3 Award in Continued Competence in Automotive Glazing-a qualification developed exclusively by GQA and its Automotive Glazing Centres to recognise ongoing competence.
Sean continued “Earlier in my working life I was employed by Autowindscreens and saw Steve in a number of roles and it was no surprise to hear that Steve had finished “on the podium”, he is one of the most professional Technicians I have seen, taking everything in his stride.
I have also met Paul, another excellent Technician, and I was fortunate enough to see them both competing in the “Clearly the best” competition earlier this year, that was used to select the Technicians to compete on behalf of Autowindscreens in the USA. As well as the great honour of representing their company, Steve and Paul were both presented with their Clearly the Best trophies sponsored by GQA Qualifications! I am also delighted for Tony Green, who has played a great part in supporting the guys in the build up to, and during, the international competition. Tony is also a GQA qualification achiever during his time in the field. I look forward to seeing many more Autowindscreens’ Technicians having their skills recognised by the achievement of one of the suite of Automotive Glazing qualifications offered by GQA.”