We are extremely proud of our exceptional team members who have won a place within the highly esteemed 30 under 30 category in the Bodyshop Magazine Awards. This is a recognition of their hard work, immense talent, and dedication to their roles and the industry as a whole.

We would like to congratulate Callum James, Ahmed Abutair, and Sam Mcafee, for this incredible achievement.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with all three winners for a special interview, where they shared their insights and experiences. Please find the interview below, highlighting their remarkable journeys and what this achievement means to them.

CALLUM JAMES– VDA (Vehicle Damage Assessor)

Can you describe your day-to-day responsibilities?
Callum: On a daily basis, I carry out assessments on damaged vehicles, ensuring that repair methods are reviewed for a safe and accurate repair. Additionally, I provide support to workshop technicians by ensuring they have everything they need to carry out the vehicle repairs. Another important aspect of my role is to cost the work done at my site to ensure we stay on target.

What is something you find challenging about your role?
Callum: One of the challenges I face in my role is the pressure to deliver and invoice jobs, especially towards the end of the month. However, I thrive in these situations and it brings out the best in me.

Can you share something that you are proud of achieving in your career?
Callum: One of my proudest moments was when I was 19 years old and I sat my first ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) exam. The IMI examiner informed me that I was the youngest ATA VDA in the UK.

How do you feel about winning a place in 30 under 30?
Callum: I am incredibly grateful to have been nominated by the company, it serves as validation for all the hard work and dedication I have put into my role. This award is a testament to the journey I have embarked upon since starting as a commercial apprentice at the age of 16. It has been a roller-coaster ride, but looking back, it is evident that every step was worthwhile. 


What do you enjoy most about working for iRG? 
Ahmed: I have the privilege of working alongside a fantastic, diverse group of like-minded individuals. Working in such an environment makes my job incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling, to the extent that it feels less like a job and more like a passion. 

Who do you look up to within the company? 
Ahmed: I look up to our Finance Director, Daniel Lewis. In my role as a Finance Manager, I have had the privilege of closely working with him and have witnessed first-hand his exceptional leadership skills, financial expertise, and strategic vision. His guidance and mentorship have been instrumental in my professional growth, and I’m grateful for the valuable lessons I have learned from him. I aspire to continue learning from his wealth of experience and leadership qualities, as I believe they will empower me to excel further in my role and make meaningful contributions to the overall success of our company.

How do you feel about winning a place in 30 under 30?
Ahmed: This achievement has been truly amazing, and it signifies that all the effort and hard work I have put in has paid off. Overcoming personal obstacles along the way has made this recognition even more meaningful to me. To be considered for the award, let alone being selected as a winner, fills me with a sense of tremendous accomplishment. It is a clear indication of the value that my employer and immediate team place on my contributions.

Can you share something that you are proud of achieving in your career?
Ahmed: I am really proud of the fact that I was able to work my way up the ladder within the accounts department, and ultimately become Finance Manager at the young age of 22. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey, filled with valuable learning experiences.


What’s your most used productivity hack? 
Sam: My most used productivity hack is to maintain a clean and organised working environment. I find that when my workspace is tidy and clutter-free, I am able to focus better and work more efficiently. This includes keeping my bays clean and organised, as well as ensuring that my toolbox is well-organised and that everything is put back in its place at the end of the day.

What do you find challenging about your role?
Sam: One of the positive challenges I find in my role is mentoring apprentices. Currently, I am working with my second apprentice, and one of the challenges I face is tailoring my approach to each individual apprentice's learning style and needs. Each apprentice is unique, and it is crucial for me to adapt my teaching methods to accommodate their preferences and ways of learning.

What motivates you most at work?
Sam: Firstly, I am motivated by the challenge of hitting targets that are set for us. Achieving these targets not only gives me a sense of accomplishment but also enables me to earn bonuses.Additionally, I’m motivated by the positive culture. A small gesture like providing pizzas on Fridays creates a sense of anticipation among the team and helps us all unwind and bond after a week of hard work.

Can you share something that you are proud of achieving in your career?
Sam: Professionally, I am extremely proud of being awarded the Panel Beater of the Year title and being winning a place in the Bodyshop Magazine's 30 under 30. These achievements are a testament to my dedication and hard work in my field and was chuffed to be nominated by iRG.
On a personal level, I am immensely proud of being able to purchase my first property at the age of 22. It is a significant milestone that has deemed me financially independent. I'm now preparing to buy a second property to rent out.


We are thrilled to announce that iRG has been selected as one of the finalists for the prestigious Bodyshop Magazine Awards 2023

Being recognised in multiple categories speaks volumes about the passion and commitment that drives our team at iRG. We’ve proudly secured our spot as finalists in the following categories:

Our commitment to excellence, employee engagement and customer service across our business has helped us secure this finalist position.

Working with numerous manufacturer approvals, ensuring innovative approaches and providing a specialist service, has assisted our Pontypridd site in securing a position in the final. What an amazing achievement. 

🏅 PANEL APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2023 - Ieuan Morris-Brown: 
The future of the industry is in safe hands with such fantastic young talent like Ieuan developing further each day. We couldn’t be more  proud of the amazing achievements Ieuan continues to secure. 

Tomas has secured his place as a finalist with his outstanding paintwork skills. Tom continues to impress with his fantastic abilities.

🏅 30 UNDER 30: 
We are ecstatic to announce, that not just one, but three of our hard working, talented, team members have achieved a position within the 30 under 30 category. To secure this position you must express true passion, commitment and enthusiasm for your job and the industry.

With that said, we would like to wish a huge Congratulations to our Account Manager, Ahmed Abutair, one of our Group Vehicle Damage Assessors Callum James and, one of our workshop technicians Sam McAfee. You all continue to evidence desire, passion and hard work, for the industry, our business and your careers daily, keep up the great work!

None of these great achievements would be possible without the amazing team we have at iRG. We truly are very fortunate to have a team who want to improve the business and industry as much as we do. Stay tuned as we gear up for the awards ceremony which takes place on 28th September. We can’t wait!!


At iRG we pride ourselves on being a business who is forward thinking, innovative and able to provide great opportunities for people wanting to develop and carve a prosperous, stable career which provides longevity and enjoyment within the motor trade.

We have always been a pillar within in the industry for providing great opportunities to candidates wanting apprenticeships or training in various capacities.

Due to this, in 2022 we decided to think outside the box and look at what else we can do as a business to continue strengthening the industry, by seeking like minded people, who are keen to create a great work life balance, who have long term objectives within the industry with just as much drive to develop themselves as they do the business they work for.

This found us, providing great opportunities to eager individuals outside the UK.

iRG have been in discussions with talent acquisition companies for a few years, where we work closely on developing talent into the trade. During this time, conversations were had advising on the many skilled technicians from other countries eager to relocate to the UK for a better work life balance.

Following these initial conversations, our Managing Director – Lee Wallbank, decided to research this further, where he found numerous candidates who were keen to relocate to the UK in the name of career stability, progression, and opportunity.

Some of these individuals had received rigorous training previously to develop their skills and in turn could have been a great asset to not only our business but the UK motor industry itself.

Lee was keen to capture this opportunity, so together with our Finance Director Daniel Lewis, they contacted a specialised recruitment company to begin the process. We also applied for a working sponsorship, which enabled us to continue this journey.

We received volumes of applicants, which were carefully reviewed and graded. Providing they hit the relevant grade they were brought forward to the interview round.

This seen Lee, completing interviews via Zoom call, where he gained an understating of the person, their ability and knowledge, their hopes for a future career and why they wanted to make such a huge step in relocating.

Following these interviews, the successful candidates were invited to complete a skills test. This seen Lee travelling overseas to Albania and India to complete these assessments. The candidates who were chosen from this stage, then needed to achieve a qualified grading in a literacy and numeracy tests to ensure they were competent to meet the relevant requirement enabling them to communicate clearly and work to the standard expected within the UK.

In total there were 10 successful candidates, within this intake.

There was a great amount of thought which had to be put into this project, as it didn’t stop at finding the 10 suitable candidates and relocating them to the UK, we also needed to support them with housing whilst their adjustments to the relocation was happening.

In readiness for their arrival, we secured and furnished a property, allowing the initial candidates to live comfortably together whilst they settled into their new surroundings.

Even though many of our new employees decided to relocate alone, there were many who brought their families along with them and have settled comfortably.

Claire our HR Director, took lead in liaising with them, assisting them with relevant paperwork, overseeing the needs within the property and providing our new employees with the relevant uniform and equipment.

When the 10 candidates first arrived in the UK, we based them at our Head Office in Pontypridd, as this was close to the home we had secured and enabled us to provide as much support as they needed. 

We interviewed Arshad and Michael to see how they found the experience and how they are progressing almost a year on

Why did you Choose iRG?

Michael: Although there were other companies in different countries that I could have considered, my interview experience with Lee, the Director of iRG, was great. From the moment we started talking, I immediately felt at ease and comfortable. Lee's calm and friendly approach made the interview feel more like a casual conversation with a trusted friend.
Another factor that influenced my decision was the fact that my wife had previously attended school in the UK. So her familiarity with the country played a role in our decision. 

How do you find the environment at iRG?

Arshad: I must admit, I was quite anxious initially. Although having worked abroad before, I wasn't sure what to expect at iRG. However, I have to say that the atmosphere here is truly great. The entire staff are incredibly friendly and welcoming. 

Michael: The work culture here at iRG is different from what I'm used to in Botswana. Adapting to the fast-paced environment took some time, thankfully, the team have been extremely supportive. In particular, my manager Hiren. He frequently checks on me and makes sure I am settling in well.

How does iRG support you

I have worked at various companies. However, I can confidently say that my experience at iRG in terms of level of care and support is the best I have had. They helped me with accommodation until I was settled and could bring my family over. I owe a lot to the company.

How did you find the transition from your country to Wales with your family?

Arshad: Before I joined iRG, I was unaware of the companies procedures and was uncertain about many things. However, i found that the company was always available to answer any questions I had, providing the guidance and support I needed to feel confident in moving. 
Thanks to the assistance of the company and the support of my colleagues, I was able to bring my family with me to Wales within just a few months. I am pleased to say that my family has settled in beautifully, with my wife securing a job and my daughter happily attending school with no difficulties in the admission process. I am grateful for the welcoming and inclusive environment that awaited me at iRG in particular from Tony Gill, he has been like a brother to me and has supported me in every way possible. 

What would you say to fellow overseas workers thinking of joining iRG?

Arshad: iRG is a trustworthy company. Rest assured, you will receive comprehensive support from every level within the organisation. The welcoming and friendly atmosphere extends from the top management down to all the employees, making it a truly inclusive and supportive environment.

Now almost a year on, Arshad and Michael have moved into new homes with their families and still work at our Pontypridd sites.

Evrinomi, Kostandinos, Edison, Ergys and Alked from Albania are working in our Hereford site and are currently sharing a home together local to the branch. Where as Eri, Elson and Elvis also from Albania have remained at our Pontypridd and Cardiff sites and sharing a home together.

All have developed greatly since being on board with us, some of which have also attended additional training courses and completed them successfully. Many work closely in teams with our UK employees and in turn have forged strong long-lasting friendships. All 10 of our new team members have settled in well and the adjustment process has seemingly concluded as they are all now comfortable in their new chapter of their lives. 

iRG continue to offer great opportunities to various candidates, both in the UK and overseas. We are able to provide apprenticeships for people new to the trade and re-training/additional training options for people already in the industry but needing a little more development.

We understand the ongoing skill shortage within the industry, which is why we are taking an innovative approach towards filling this void.

We have vast plans for the future, and already have a few projects in the pipeline.

Make sure you follow iRG on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated.