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Young tradespeople gather for worldskills NZ competition



Young tradespeople gather for worldskills NZ National competition

The WorldSkills New Zealand National Competition sees over a hundred competitors gather to compete in their individual skill categories, and the ultimate prize – a place in the New Zealand skills team to compete in Kazan 2019. Taking place at Wintec in Hamilton over 9-11 October top trades apprentices and trainees will duel it out in categories ranging from Automotive Technology, to Plumbing & Heating to Mobile Robotics and Cloud Computing.

Places on the NZ Skills team are highly sought after and competitors who make the cut will travel to 45th WorldSkills International Competition in Kazan in August,2019.

“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.

Harris describes the National competition as a big step-up from the regional competitions held earlier this year and the global competition is another leap again.

“It is like the Olympics of the trades” he says.

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”.

First, competitors must compete with their national counterparts at the end of this month. 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.

“It would be an opportunity to see how I compare with people from all over the world.” says Jeff, adding, “Abu Dhabi would be a whole new experience”.

Jeff is putting his all into his preparation for the competition spending additional hours training with his tutor as well as his employer, Southland’s Claas Harvest Centre.

“I do quite a bit of training leading up to the competition, up to 80 hours” says Jeff.

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 would be huge. To be able to travel doing what you love would be wicked, and you’re representing NZ which would be a huge achievement in itself”, says Jade.

Former 2015 Tool Black, Oceania and National competition winner, Adam de Pass, will attend the 2018 National Competition as a Skill Judge. Adam had this advice for the Nationals competitors;

“Being a Tool Black is 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”.

Like the regional competitions, the national competition is project based with competitors completing these over two high-pressure days.

WorldSkills NZ encourages any young tradesperson to investigate the competition and to line themselves up to compete in future competitions WorldSkills competitions next year.

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

Competition at Wintec will be held at the Rotokauri Campus on Wednesday 10th Oct, 0830-1700 and Thursday 11th October, 0800 - 1500. The medal ceremony will be held at Wintec’s city campus, The Atrium, Wintec House, Cnr Anglesea & Ward Sts, Hamilton from 1900 October 11th .

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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