September 6th, 2012
Judging the World’s top tradespeople
In June next year, over 1,100 talented young up-and-coming tradespeople – including 14 New Zealanders – from 51 countries, are travelling to Leipzig, Germany to compete at WorldSkills 2013
. But it’s who’s judging this talent that we also have to be proud of.
Kiwi Steve Brooks, an Industry Manager at Competenz, has been invited to judge the Sheet Metal Technology category at WorldSkills – the Olympics for trades. Steve is also the Chief Expert for this category, meaning he is responsible for ensuring a successful, smoothly run competition.
This will be the 4th WorldSkills Steve has attended after previously travelling to the Japan, Canada and England events. “It’s a fantastic opportunity being able to see the top talent from all around the world in one place,” says Steve.
New Zealand has 15 judges attending WorldSkills, as each competitor is required to have a judge. In the Sheet Metal Technology category Steve will be on a judging panel of 12 as there are 12 registrations. “There’s more to it than just judging, we must ensure nothing stands in the way of the competitors completing the modular projects and this requires a massive amount of organisation to come together over the four competition days,” says Steve. “And we’ve already started this organising.”
When Steve isn’t working his day job and preparing for the upcoming event, his focus is also on mentoring two apprentices battling for the position to represent New Zealand in the Sheet Metal Technology category. "The last three New Zealanders to compete in the Sheet Metal category competed well, but none managed to gain a top three placing," says Steve. “Our Sheet Metal apprentices have the potential to bring home the top prize, but for that to happen this time around we need to think and train smarter."
But Steve’s work doesn’t end there; he has also been invited to attend WorldSkills Americas to be held this November in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here Steve will be an Advisor, meaning his job is to share knowledge based on his experiences from the past events.
“It was an unexpected invitation, but it’s a great honour. I was invited by SENAI, a large industry training organisation in Brazil which shares the same goal – to promote vocational education,” says Steve.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the competitors at the competition in Brazil stack-up against the amazing standard of skills that I’ve witnessed at the other WorldSkills events.”