Brilliant Mechanics @ WorldSkills

Discover the often-unknown skill required in being an auto mechanic. We meet automotive mechanic Craig Ringswandle and his son Andrew, who is vying for the National WorldSkills gold medal.

About Auto-Mechanics:

This years category of Auto Mechanics contains eleven competitors, all male. The history of the category boasts consistently high levels of achievement at WorldSkills International. Last year Dale McMullen achieved gold in Japan and Australia has been ranked in the top six internationally for the past 15 years.

There are seven 2 ½ hr tasks that the competitors must complete over the three days:

  • Braking Systems
  • Electrical
  • Engine Overhaul
  • Transmission
  • Diesel
  • Petrol Engine Tuning
  • Steering Suspension

The competitors are expected to achieve an industry standard in all of their tasks, which will require particular personal attributes. Physical fitness is essential, as the competitors will have to complete three hours worth of work in the two-hour time slots. Mental ability and focus is also important, as is the ability to multitask.

About Craig:

Craig Ringswandle is the father of Andrew Ringswandle, competitor in the Automotive Mechanics category and who achieved silver in the National WorldSkills in 2006, second only by a mark of 0.1! Craig has helped carry the lineage of Auto Mechanic from his father down to his own sons, Andrew and David. Craig is aware of the difficulty of the trade, so holds great pride in his boys for their ability to excel as Auto Mechanics.

Craig grew up surrounded by parts of cars – his father owned a workshop, in which he later worked as an apprentice. Leaving school at 15, Craig knew he wanted only to be an Auto Mechanic and so had to have written permission to leave school one year under the legal age to do so.

Craig has judged the State WorldSkills competition in the past, unable to judge at national level because of both sons’ participation at that level. At 59, he is attending WorldSkills to “simply watch this time.”

VJ Thomas Greader