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WorldSkills Engineering hopefuls compete at UCOL

WorldSkills Engineering hopefuls compete at UCOL

UCOL is hosting the Regional Engineering WorldSkills competition in Palmerston North today.

The regional competition for engineering apprentices is part of the build up to the National WorldSkills competition in September and the International WorldSkills in Calgary in Canada in September next year.

UCOL’s Head of Applied Technology Marius Dryfhout says UCOL is pleased to host the regional competitions in its engineering workshops “The concept of WorldSkills is to encourage excellence in trade skills. That is right in line with UCOL’s approach to trades training.”

The entrants in today’s day-long competition will come from all parts of the Central Districts; as far North as New Plymouth and Gisborne.
Scott Rogers from Boss Engineering of Wanganui works on
his entry in the Regional WorldSkills machining competition
at UCOL today. Photo Credit: Karoline Tuckey

A total of 19 participants will take part in the eight-hour heats in welding, machining and fabrication. Organiser Steve Brooks, from the industry training organisation Competenz, says it is notable that about 95% of the entrants have attended UCOL block courses or night classes over the duration of their study.

UCOL lecturers Brian Davies, Peter Whitburn and Stu Coxon and trades staff from the New Zealand Army are amongst the judges.

Place winners will be announced next Wednesday, and successful apprentices will go on to the nationals in September, to compete for a place at the internationals next year. The WorldSkills competition involves more than 50 countries and takes place every two years. It covers around 50 skills including carpentry, fashion and engineering.

Steve says that he would like to see the Central Districts competition grow over the next few years to include many other trades. “The need for good tradesmen and women is growing, and this need is recognised by a special funding grant from the Ministry of Education that has allowed this event to happen.”

Steve also says that many local businesses have been hugely supportive, donating the $1000 of materials needed, and allowing their young tradesmen to attend for the day.

“This event wouldn’t be happening without these people and businesses. Fletcher Steel, Steel and Tube, Ulrich Aluminium, Vulcan Steel and BOC Gases; plus the support from all the volunteers. These people have been getting behind the apprentices and showing that trades skills are really valuable.”


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