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NZ's SkillEX team unaffected by skill shortage

March 11, 2005

New Zealand’s SkillEX team unaffected by skill shortage

New Zealand SkillEX team are ready to pounce on Worldskills as 40 countries are preparing to battle it out at the Helsinki Fair Centre in Finland in May.

Fourteen competitors and fourteen judges are set to leave on 18 May 2005 to compete in a 4-day vocational skills competition but not before sufficient funds are raised and team building training camp done.

The past months have seen the team engaged in a strident program of fundraising, upskilling, training and keeping up with their day jobs.

Skills represented by the New Zealand SkillEX team are welding, cooking, information technology/ software, fitting, PC/ network support, joinery, autobody repairs, electrical wiring, fabrication/ sheetmetal work, auto refinishing, mechatronics and furniture making.

Sounds like a list of the trades that New Zealand is currently experiencing a shortage of, doesn’t it? In the throw of all these news stories on skills shortage there is something positive to celebrate afterall. Notably the achievements and talents of this group of young New Zealanders will be in a medal contingency.

Over the last 18 years Youthskills New Zealand has made it its mission to encourage excellence amongst young New Zealand trades people by competitions and rewards and so to extend their self confidence and esteem and thus their value to themselves, community and industry. Participating since 1986 when it was still known as Career Skills its main function is to organise regional and national competitions which go under the name of SkillEX. Categories range from engineering, building construction, electrical, automotive and hospitality covering information technology, automotive technology, mechatronics, electronics, mechanics, cooking, hairdressing, furniture making and much more. Next year Youth Skills New Zealand will be adding graphic design, aviation engineering and refrigeration as new skills to feature in their competitions.

To go to the internationals each competitor needs to win their category in the regional competitions from where they go into the national finals before being selected to represent New Zealand if funding and sponsorship makes it possible for them to participate overseas.

With 75 days to go, these youngsters still have fundraising and training camp still to do before the team gets away and with that assuring New Zealand of its next generation of excellent skilled trades people!


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