July 8th, 2013

Judging the world's most talented young tradespeople

Steve Brooks is an Industry Manager at Competenz, but he is also an experienced judge at WorldSkills. Steve is in Germany this month with the Tool Blacks, where he will decide who has the skills to win a gold medal in this year’s Trade Olympics.

What does it take to compete at WorldSkills?

A lot of dedication and self-motivation is required to compete at Worldskills. Competing at the international competition can be a very rewarding experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity. A lot of training is required to get there though!

How tough is the competition?
The competition is very tough. Competing is not something I would like to do. The arranging and judging is hard enough let alone competing! One needs to be fit to survive the mental and physical efforts required. Countries which have traditionally done well in sheetmetal are Korea, Japan and Taiwan. New Zealand is looking to change that this time.

What is the atmosphere like?
The atmosphere absolutely buzz’s. People don’t realise the magnitude of WorldSkills – this is one of the most under-publicised events in New Zealand. Over 200,000 visitors attended the 2011 competition over four days in London – that’s a lot if you compare it to the Rugby World Cup which brought only 100,000 overseas visitors to New Zealand for the whole World Cup. New Zealand would not have the budget or infrastructure to hold one of these competitions.

What can the Tool Blacks expect when competing?
A real tough four days of competition. Ultimately a gold medal would be fantastic! In my experience, WorldSkills competitors have come back saying they have had an absolutely awesome experience, making lifelong friends along the way. The competition is demanding, but also extremely rewarding. If nothing else they will have improved their own skills and this should rub off to people all around them.

Sounds great! How do I get involved?
If you think you have the work ethic and motivation to compete on the world stage, then the first step is to enter into a WorldSkills New Zealand (WSNZ) Regional competition – but you have to be under the age of 22. From here you could be selected into the WSNZ National finals, and from the National Finals, a team is selected to represent New Zealand at the WorldSkills International competition.

What will I get out of it?
WorldSkills is an opportunity to represent NZ as an Ambassador with the Tool Blacks! You’ll receive recognition and a certificate to prove you are the best in New Zealand in your trade or skill area. That’s a great point of difference for your CV!