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Three NorthTec apprentice students have excelled at the WorldSkills New Zealand national competition held recently at Wintec in Hamilton.
Automotive engineering students, Morgan Lovelace and Scott Pattenden, gained silver and bronze medals respectively, while welding student, Justin Caldwell-Smith, also bagged a bronze.
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, and gives young professionals the self-confidence and experience they need to reach their full potential.
There are several categories within WorldSkills including cooking, robotics, automotive engineering and welding, and New Zealand holds regional competitions from which top contestants are selected to compete in the nationals.
Gareth Edwards, NorthTec Automotive Tutor, was one of the judges at the WorldSkills nationals this year. He said: “We had three NorthTec apprentice representatives from automotive and welding, and we won three medals. It’s a fantastic result that the winners and NorthTec can be really proud of. Winning these national medals really opens doors for these guys.
“The two-day event is intense and hard-out with competitors having to complete certain tasks. For automotive contestants, this included pulling down a transmission system, inspecting it, making a report, then putting it back together again. For welding, some of the tasks were to weld aluminium and mild steel, and involved MIG, TIG and arc welding.”
From the nationals, one competitor from each category is then selected to go on to the International WorldSkills competition which this time will be held in Russia in 2019. Gareth said: “Even though our guys aren’t quite in the top medallists, people’s circumstances differ, so back-ups are selected later when national team members are confirmed. The international competition is a huge event covering several acres.”
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