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Competitors Announced For Worldskills

April 27, 2005

Team New Zealand Competitors Announced For Worldskills

Youth Skills New Zealand is delighted to announce the team of 14 competitors for the WorldSkills competitions in Helsinki, Finland, held from 25 May to 1 June 2005.

The team is as follows:

Graham O’ Brien, in the automotive technology category, from Linton Military Camp, Palmerston North, says he has been training with the army for four years and is now a qualified diesel mechanic.

Mark Boyd, in the furniture making category, from Auckland, has been training for the past 22 months to be a marine cabinet maker. He gained the ‘Apprentice of Year’award last year and came first in the Auckland Technology Teachers Association woodwork competitions.

Benjamin McNaught, in the auto refinishing category, from Auckland, says his trade developed out of his fascination in auto saloons, car shows and encouragement from his employer, Warkworth Car/ Truck Painters.

Nathan Champion, in PC & network support category, from Auckland is the youngest in the country to complete his MCSE at the age of 13. He has a string of qualifications including a Microsoft certified systems engineer, degree in international communications, Red Hat certified engineer and Cisco certified network associate.

Dion Hubers, in welding category, from Auckland, says his love for welding stems from John Britten’s achievement to build the Superbike. He believes Kiwis can achieve great things on a global basis.

Jonathan Currie, in mechatronics category, from Auckland, says he wants to become either a fire, electrical or control systems engineer. Jonathan was highly commended at the Auckland Science Fair in 1999.

Scott Eyre, in mechatronics category, from Auckland, has gained a national certificate in electrical engineering level 4 and industrial, measurement and control level 14. Scott works for New Zealand Steel and is very happy at the prospects of WorldSkills.
Cole Watson, in autobody repair category, from Auckland, is three years into his apprenticeship at Bodyworks Panel & Paint. Cole is a go-getter and takes great pride in his work.

Thomas Brown, in electrical wiring category, from Linton Military Camp, Palmerston North, has been training for nearly three years to become an industrial electrician. He is looking forward to increasing his skill level at WorldSkills.

Matthew Wales, in information technology and software category, from Auckland, currently studies a conjoint degree in business finance and economics. His ultimate goal is to work in the finance industry using computer modelling to predict investments and eventually set up his own consulting firm.

Andy Hartanto, in cooking, from Auckland, completed a diploma in culinary arts and currently works at Gault on George in Auckland. He won gold at New Zealand Chefs Association Junior Team Skills 2003. He won silver in the 2003 Trans Tasman Trophy and has many other accolades to his name.

Damian McKay, in fabrication light and sheetmetal work, from Hastings, competed in SkillEX 2002 and won gold at the national SkillEX finals 2004. He won the right to represent New Zealand in 2002 but decided to further build on his skills before competing at WorldSkills therefore giving St Gallen 2003 a bye and going full throttle for Helsinki 2005. This gives an idea of Damian’s maturity, attitude and determination. Damian gained a New Zealand trade certificate in fabrication light (L4).

Chris Hilleard, in fitting category, from Wellington, says his interest in modifying cars made him realise how much he enjoyed creating and building things and this is what helped him decide to take up a career in machining and toolmaking. Building a racing car has been a highlight in his career so far.

Andrew Shaskey, in joinery category, from Canterbury, is currently working at Bower Kitchens and Joinery concurrently studying at Christchurch Polytechnic as part of his apprenticeship. He would like to run his own business one day.
The team members were selected by a panel of judges at the national SkillEX finals all winning gold.

“I feel this is may be the strongest team we have sent to a WorldSkills competition”, said Albie Lund, chief executive officer of Youth Skills New Zealand.

YOUTH SKILLS NEW ZEALAND (YSNZ) VISION STATEMENT – To challenge New Zealand to achieve world-class standards by demonstrating excellence through workplace skills competitions for young people.

YSNZ is non-profit national organisation founded in 1985 by Vaughn Crimmins, John Fraser OBE, Craftsmen Training Foundation and Engineering Union who shared a passion for training and is headquartered in Auckland.

YSNZ has run regional and national vocational education competitions. So far it has run 10 cycles of competitions in which over 10,000 competitors have matched their skills against their peers.

YSNZ has represented New Zealand since 1988 in Sydney, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Taipei, Lyon, St Gallen, Montreal, Seoul and St Gallen again.

YSNZ is New Zealand’s accredited representative of WorldSkills and offers an important collaborative, unique contribution for intensive benchmark of technical skills training.

Through 39 countries, WorldSkills competitions create opportunities for networking and observing new training techniques and latest technologies in action.

Competitors, judges and officials are responsible for their own fundraising. Any contribution to their costs of participating at the WorldSkills 2005 Helsinki competitions are warmly received.

Together the national SkillEX team has raised 75% of funds and requires a further $60,000.

Would like to thank the following for their contributions to the national SkillEX team:

BodyWorks • ISCAR • PPG • AMI • Industrial Research • MTR Ltd • Bower Kitchens • Nestle • Timpan City Ltd • Plywood and Panel Products • Alloy Yachts • JD & WA Inverarity • Rosefeld Kidson • Gibson Veneer and Plywood Ltd • Plytec International • General Marine Services • Anzor Fasteners • Aitex Coatings • Adhesive Technology • Sikaflex New Zealand • Car Colours of North Shore • Warkworth Collision Repairs • Wormald Fire Protection • McLaren Stainless •Norske Skog • Rhiacosh • Unitec Scholarship • George Armstrong Trust • Mt Wellington Charitable Trust • The Trusts Charitable Foundation • Lottery Grant Board • Competenz •JITO • FITO • BITO • ATNZ • EMPU (engineers union) •MTA • VTNZ • UNITEC • WELTEC • WINTEC • AUT • NZ Electrical Institute • Canterbury Joinery Manufacturers Association • Joinery Federation • Restaurant Association •MAREX • YSNZ • Mr & Mrs Wales • Paul Boyce • Mr & Mrs McNaught • Nick Murray • JohnTuau • RM Port

Membership recruitment open all year.

The national SkillEX team will be leaving Auckland on 18th May 2005 from Auckland International Airport. Time to be TBC.


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