Glen Kelly has proven himself one of the rising stars of Metroline’s Engineering team following his exceptional success at the IRTE Skills Challenge. A Coachmaker Based at CELF, Glen won best Bodywork Technician at the 2023 skills challenge, proving himself against engineers from different operators across the country and beyond.
The IRTE Skills Challenge is an annual competition taking place in Bristol for talented engineers in the Bus and Coach sectors. Over 35 teams of engineers from around the world take part and engage in a range of challenges to establish the best of the best.
Glen was challenged with numerous tasks designed to test the entrants to their full ability, including masking a car to demonstrate masking and painting preparation, and fixing a dented vehicle wing utilising skills such as filling and spraying and fiberglass identification. Glen also had to demonstrate welding, panel making and spraying followed by a written paper.
Despite the challenges, Glen did not feel the pressure, “Welding, spraying and panel making – multiple tasks into one thing. That’s what I enjoyed the most,” Glen recalled. “I thrive on taking stuff apart and then putting it back together. That’s what gives me a sense of achievement, gives me joy.”
Glen joined Metroline 2 years ago, the culmination of an apprenticeship and work with both light and heavy-duty vehicles over 5 years. On his decision to join, Glen recalls, “I thought let me try something else, and then I came here… I think I’ve found my niche.” For Glen, working with buses is continuing the family tradition – he follows in the footsteps of his father who was an engineer, and his grandfather who worked as a Bus Driver, “The old man was happy, he was chuffed to bits, my mum was proud as well – you never expect to win’ says Glen.
Most days Glen can be found in CELF making panels and keeping a watchful eye over his apprentice as he trains the next generation of coachmakers. He is always keen to remind his apprentice to ask for help and tells them, “Be proud of your work. Always do something to the book, and always make it look the best that you can because it represents the way you work as a person, and it represents you as a whole. My advice would be if you come in, go for it, don’t be afraid and always do your best. You can’t go wrong by doing your best can you?”