Co-owner of Advance Windscreens, Andy was among a group of Scotland’s most skilled professionals who competed in the first regional heat of the UK Master Fitter competition, which took place at Autoglaze, based in Crathie Road, Kilmarnock. Contestants had to demonstrate outstanding technical expertise in repairing and replacing a windscreen, as well as replacing a side and heated rear window, all against the clock.
Coming out on top of a hard fought contest, Andy will join the winners of four other regional events to battle it out for the title of UK Master Fitter at the grand final being held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 16 September.
The overall champion will then represent the UK on a global stage in September at the 2010 International Master Fitter Championships, as part of the Glasstec International Trade Fair in Dusseldorf. It is expected that champions from up to fifteen nations will be participating.
Co-ordinated by Proskills, the Sector Skills Council for the glass and related industries, the UK Master Fitter competition aims to showcase the need for highly skilled people in response to the rapid advances in vehicle technology with glass becoming an increasingly important part of car construction.
UK Master Fitter is being supported by a number of organisations, including: the Independent Windscreen Academy (IWA); Master Auto Glass; Laddaw; Dow Automotive; Sika; and the Glass Qualifications Authority (GQA). The competition is being sponsored by Trico Products, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wiper blades and associated systems. Vehicles for the Scottish competition were supplied by AMK Self Drive in Glasgow.
Having earned the title of Scottish champion, Andy Fountain said:
“It was a tough day even though the jobs I had to do were no different from the type I do every day but I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous at first. Once I got into it and felt more relaxed, I felt much more confident and I was delighted to hear that I’d come out on top. Now I just want to go down to Cardiff and bring the UK Master Fitter title to Scotland!”
Lead Assessor for the UK Master Fitter competition, Sean Hayes, from the Glass Qualifications Authority, commented:
“The expertise and quality shown by our first regional finalists in Scotland has really set the standard for the competition and I have been impressed by the professionalism of all the competitors, who should be very proud of their performance. Andy is a worthy winner and we look forward to seeing him in action again at the UK final in September. We are grateful to Autoglaze for the use of their premises I would like to thank my fellow Assessors, Scott Wright from Master Autoglass in Glasgow and John Tyler from the Independent Windscreen Academy. The team effort that went into organising and co-ordinating the event was a pleasure to be part of.”
Representing the Scottish Government, which also helped sponsor the event, Rob Lennox, spokesman, commented:
“The Scottish Government is happy to support the Master Fitter competition. Skills competitions recognise the achievements of the very best employees and showcase the skills offered by the Scottish workforce. Competitions like this help to raise the ambition of employees whilst focusing on the enterprise, enthusiasm and endeavour shown by competitors.”
The other Scottish finalists for UK Master Fitter were:
David Poole from Bellshill, Co-owner of Advance Windscreens
Chris Rennie of CR Windscreens in Port Glasgow
For further information about the International Automotive Glass Federation™ and International Master Fitter, visit www.interautoglass.org
For further information about Trico products, visit www.trico.eu.com