Skills to take on the World
Skills to take on the World
Fourteen talented young up-and-coming tradespeople – including three Competenz apprentices – are preparing to head to Leipzig, Germany in July next year to compete at WorldSkills 2013.
Also known as the Trade Olympics, WorldSkills was started over 60 years ago and is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and facilitate worldwide awareness of the essential contribution that skills make to achievement of economic success.
Over 1,100 competitors from more than 51 countries will attend WorldSkills 2013, providing our hottest young up-and-coming tradespeople the opportunity to see how their skills stack up against demanding international standards.
“People don’t realise the magnitude of WorldSkills – this is one of the most underpublicised events in New Zealand. Over 200,000 visitors attended the 2011 competition over four days in London – that’s a lot if you compare it to the Rugby World Cup which brought only 100,000 overseas visitors to New Zealand,” says Steve Brooks, Competenz Industry Manager.
The two Competenz apprentices definitely confirmed to head to Germany in 2013 are Mark Strange, competing in Polymechanics (Fitting & Machining) from South Waikato Precision Engineering in Tokoroa, and Jaric Savill, an ATNZ apprentice, competing in Welding from Aztech Engineering Ltd in Wellington.
The position for the Sheet Metal Technology category though is being battled out by Reece Gerrits from Thorburn Engineering in Hamilton, and Daniel Drylie from Total Sheetmetals NZ Ltd in Palmerston North. Reece placed first at the Nationals but is being challenged for the position to compete in Germany by an eager Daniel who placed second. A final decision will be made by November 2012.
Mark and Jaric made the team by first winning their regional event, conquering their opposition in their skills category at the National Final held in Christchurch in July, before then being interviewed by WorldSkills New Zealand CEO, Peter Spencer, to ensure they have the right qualities to be ambassadors for New Zealand.
The focus now is on preparation and fundraising. “The guys need to work hard; it’s a challenging 4 days of competition that takes a huge amount of determination. If they don’t put in over 200 hours of training they won’t be prepared enough” says Steve. “They need to put their lives on hold almost – it’s no different to going to the real Olympics for sports, just that this is for trades.”
It costs each competitor $30,000 to attend WorldSkills – a hefty investment for two 20 year olds and two 21 year olds. That’s why the support of sponsors is so valuable, and our apprentices need all the help they can get. If you’d like to get our guys to Germany to represent New Zealand on the world stage, please email Stephanie Brown on firstname.lastname@example.org.