A 15-member team recently announced by WorldSkills NZ chief executive Bruce Howat will represent New Zealand in 15 of the 45 or more trade skills to be contested at the WorldSkills International competitions in Brazil in August.
Around 1300 under-24 year old competitors from 72 countries will compete to win gold in their skill categories, and more than 200,000 visitors are expected to at tend the five- day competition in Sao Paulo. The NZ WorldSkills team has had three rounds of competition to help it prepare for the international competitions.
Team members had to win through the regionals, then the 2014 national competitions and, in April this year, the Oceania competitions to get a place on the Tool Blacks team. More than 120 competitors from Canada, India, Malaysia, China, Australia, Korea and Singapore attended the Oceania competitions at Wintec.
The intensity of competition has increased with each round, but the internationals will be a bigger step up again due to their sheer scale, the far greater number of competitors and the fact they are off-shore in Brazil. Each competitor has had a personalised, hands-on mentoring programme to ensure they have the best shot at winning a medal, including “mental toughness” training developed exclusively for WorldSkills NZ competitors.
Mr Howat says discussions are underway with other trade groups to include their skill categories in the competitions as soon as is feasible. The construction skills-related competitors travelling with the New Zealand Tool Blacks team include:
• Matty Hull, Eketahuna (carpentry)
• Cameron Shailer, Rotorua (electrical
• Michael Good, Invercargill (joinery)
• Nick Bastiaansen, Gore, (maintenance engineering)
• Adam de Pass, Invercargill (plumbing)
• Michael Benson, Hamilton (sheet metal
• Stacy Smyth, Dannevirke (welding).
About WorldSkills NZ:
WorldSkills New Zealand is an independent, non-profit charitable trust founded in 1986, dedicated to encouraging young people to excel in vocational skills. This is achieved through exposure to competitions at regional, national and international levels.