Air New Zealand aircraft engineer, Jarrod Wood, won the gold medal in the aircraft maintenance skill competition of the 44th WorldSkills International Competition held 15-18 October 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Wood was also awarded Best in Nation, for having the highest marks amongst all Competitors from New Zealand. Five other New Zealand competitors also won Medallions of Excellence for top scores.

Malcolm Harris, chief executive of WorldSkills New Zealand, says he is thrilled with the performance of the New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (NZITP) Skills Team.

“The team competed in 13 of 51 Skill categories in the competition attended by over 1300 of the world’s finest young skill apprentices.”

Wood says winning gold was a shock and was humbled to find himself standing on stage next to competitors from Finland and Korea.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet. But I feel privileged and proud to be bringing back NZ’s second ever gold medal,” says Wood, “I’m also proud to have been awarded Best in Nation. But the whole NZ Team deserved that award. They’re such amazing professionals in their respective trades, and can all be proud of their performance.”

The five Medallions of Excellence won by the NZITP Skills Team were award to Chabbethai Chia for Electrical Installation; Hunter Turner for Plumbing and Heating; Nicholas Todd for Cooking; Sarah Browning for Graphic Design Technology; and Shea Keir for Industrial Mechanic Millwright.

The WorldSkills International Competition occurs every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world, reflecting global industrypractice. Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from skills competitions in 78 WorldSkills Member countries and regions. They must demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and/or perform in their workplace.

This was the first time that the WorldSkills Competition has been held in the Middle East and North Africa region and was the largest WorldSkills Competition to date, attracting more than 125,000 visitors.

This year’s competition was held in conjunction with the WorldSkills Conference 2017 and the first International TVET Youth Forum, both providing a unique opportunity for young professionals, Ministers, and other global policymakers to debate the major issues that the vocational education sector faces.

The 45th WorldSkills Competition will be held on 29 August – 3 September 2019 in Kazan, Russia.

 

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