NAIT continues to live up to its name as one of the leading providers of apprenticeship training in Western Canada, as campus was host to a skills trial for the next international competition of WorldSkills. Four Alberta students, including three current NAIT students, undertook timed trials in their trade disciplines on campus to showcase their skills and vie for a spot on the Canadian National Team. An invitation to the national team would give the lucky students the opportunity to compete in WorldSkills 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, an international competition showcasing and inspiring world-class excellence in skills.
Six provinces and territories will be holding trials across Canada where 31 eligible competitors will showcase their skills. Generally, competitors who have been successful at the national level would automatically receive an invitation to compete at the international level. However, this year the national office for Skills Canada opted to hold the WorldSkills Canadian Trials, to allow competitors who were successful at regional, provincial, and national levels in 2014 to showcase their skills. Those who meet a certain set of requirements would then receive an invitation to join the Canadian national team at WorldSkills 2015. The international competition, held every two years, is an opportunity of a lifetime for those wishing to showcase their skills, build confidence, and garner the attention of industry recruiters.
Victoria Anderson, communications co-ordinator for Skills Canada Alberta, explains the Alberta competition’s goal, “We are training Alberta’s youth to be successful in the ever-changing field of trades and technologies globally. We believe that it is important to educate students on the different career paths available to them in trades and technologies.”
The trials on campus focused on four disciplines – electrical installations, industrial control, plumbing and CNC machining – however the international competition showcases skills ranging from construction and building technologies like carpentry, to social and personal services like restaurant service. Each skill area has its own specific set of requirements in order to prepare for the competition, as well as criteria on how competitors are judged in the competition. With over 50 skills encompassed in the international competition, WorldSkills is an opportunity for students to not only showcase and perfect their own skills, but to also build a professional network that will build their careers in the years to come.
As for our Alberta students vying for a spot on the Canadian national team at their timed trials? Like every other student competitor, “These students have already excelled at showcasing their expertise and talents in their field, and we have high hopes for them in Brazil,” said Anderson.
As these students continue to hone their skills, let’s hope we see some Canadians taking the medals in Brazil this August.
By Nicolas Brown