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Young tradespeople gather for WorldSkills competitition


trade competitors vie for Tool black selection

young tradespeople gather for national worldskills competition

The WorldSkills New Zealand National Competition sees competitors gather to compete across 15 skills categories, and the ultimate prize – a place in the national Tool Blacks 2017 team. Taking place at Wintec in Hamilton over the weekend 30 September - 2 Octobertop trades apprentices and trainees will duel it out in categories ranging from Automotive Technology, to Plumbing & Heating to Hairdressing and Floristry.

Places on the Tool Blacks 2017 team are highly sought after and competitors who make the cut will travel to 44th WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

“From our National competition we seek the best of the best to represent New Zealand on the global stage. From this point we’re operating in a high performance environment and these competitors know it,” says WorldSkills NZ Chief Executive Malcolm Harris.

According to Harris the National competition is a big step-up from the regional competitions which were held earlier this year and the global competition is another leap again.

“It is like the Olympics of the trades. The global competition attracts thousands of competitors across a multitude of skills categories, and global sponsors – like Samsung for example – recruit from the top talent competing there. So to be selected to represent New Zealand is a huge honour, and at the same time we’re showcasing New Zealand’s quality industry training system, ” says Harris.

First, competitors must compete with their national counterparts at the WorldSkills Nationals. For 21-year old Southlander, Jeff Sutton, former Oceania 2015 Tool Black and medal winner in Automotive Technology, getting back into that team and heading to Abu Dhabi has always been the main goal.

“Abu Dhabi will be a whole new experience and a great opportunity to see how I compare with people from all over the world,” says Sutton.

Sutton will spend up to 80 hours preparing and training for the competition with his tutors and his employer Southland’s Claas Harvest Centre.

For first time competitor 20-year old Jade Winter, apprentice plumber from Palmerston North’s Petersson Plumbing & Drainage, the global competition would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“To make it into the Tool Blacks and represent NZ would be a huge achievement. Just to be able to travel doing what you love would be wicked,” says Jade.

Former 2015 Tool Black, Oceania and National competition winner, Adam de Pass, will attend the 2016 National Competition as a Skill Judge. His advice for National Competitors:

“Being a Tool Black is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one you cannot buy. Put everything you’ve got into it; be confident in your ability. If you want to win it you’ve got to think positive!”

The National competition is project based with competitors completing the assigned projects over two high-pressure days.

WorldSkills NZ encourages any young tradesperson to investigate the competition and to compete in future WorldSkills competitions.

“Through WorldSkills NZ your skill, trade or service career can truly take you to the absolute top of your industry,” says Harris.

WorldSkills NZ National Competition at Wintec will be held at the Rotokauri Campus on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1st October, 8am – 5pm.

The medal ceremony will be held at Wintec’s city campus, The Atrium, Wintec House, Cnr Anglesea & Ward Sts, Hamilton from 10.30am on Sunday 2 October.

Media are welcome to attend the events.

About WorldSkills NZ

WorldSkills New Zealand is an independent, not-profit, charitable trust founded in 1986. Dedicated to encouraging young people to excel in vocational skills. This is achieved through exposure to regional, national and international levels. For more information on other regional competitions visit

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