News | Taking our Skills to the World

02/07/2013

The tradition of young New Zealanders travelling the world and gaining overseas experience continues, albeit with some different destinations now in the mix. While the UK was the focus, now more are heading to Asia. However, Europe is still a draw card, and that is where the cream of New Zealand’s young trade trainees are about to pit their skills against the best of their peers from around the globe.

This month, in Germany, a team of 13 trainees from around New Zealand - the Tool Blacks - will compete against more than a thousand other highly skilled young people from more than 60 countries at the WorldSkills International competition. The Kiwi team are all under 23 and were selected after competing at the New Zealand WorldSkills national championships last year.

WorldSkills is for young people involved in trade and technical industries, from cooking, engineering, automotive, building and construction and hairdressing. The scale of the event is rather like the Olympics. More than 150,000 visitors are expected to attend the WorldSkills Leipzig Championship making it the largest international skills competition in the world. New Zealand is part of a worldwide group which organise trade competitions within their own countries and form teams to compete at the biennial international competition.

The focus for our Tool Blacks team is firmly on performance rather than just participation. Each team member is proud to have been chosen to represent New Zealand so all have been putting in long hours of training – and fundraising - in preparation for the international competition. While it is a small team, it is a high calibre one, and they aim to show that New Zealand training is right up there with the best in the world.

ServiceIQ, as a skills-focused organisation – we want New Zealand to have a world-class service industry through qualified people - is ‘backing black’, by supporting two Tool Black team members: apprentice aircraft engineer Michael West from RNZAF and apprentice chef William Mordido from SKYCITY. As you read this they will be competing at the WorldSkills 2013 championship, doing their best in front of a huge audience and under real pressure. At this huge event, Michael, William and the team will see the great potential their futures could hold - no doubt it will inspire them to gain expertise at the highest level.

Michael and William are future industry leaders, role models who will encourage others into training and to gain qualifications that will not only benefit them in New Zealand, but also give them international opportunities. Skills shape our world as many businesses, politicians, teachers and young people realise. Growth will return to our economies through a focus on skills and entrepreneurship.

Dean Minchington
ServiceIQ Chief Executive Officer