Aircraft talent stands out on the world stage
Doing East Auckland proud on the world stage is aircraft engineer Jarrod Wood. He won a gold medal in the aircraft maintenance category of the 44th WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi.
The former Sancta Maria College student was also awarded Best in Nation, for scoring the highest points amongst all competitors from New Zealand.
He was part of the NZITP Skills Team that competed in 13 of 51 categories. The competition saw more than 1300 of the world’s finest young skill apprentices in attendance.
‘‘I was so humbled to be standing on the stage next to Finland and Korea. Winning gold was such a shock. It still hasn’t sunk in yet,’’ the 25-year-old says.
Wood, who lives in Manurewa, says he always wanted to ‘‘work with my hands; being inside an office wasn’t for me’’.
After high school, he went straight into a role at Air New Zealand as a baggage loader for a year and then moved to the Aviation Institute to study.
He started his apprenticeship in 2013, and has been working in aircraft maintenance for five years.
‘‘It has been an amazing journey that has taken me to some fantastic places.
‘‘I was successful in qualifying and securing a role in line maintenance, where I stand alongside some of the best engineers in the world.’’
In the near future, he’s hoping to share his learnings in WorldSkills and help develop the next generation of trainees, ‘‘so they can experience what I did in Abu Dhabi - one which I will never forget’’.
WorldSkills is a global organisation that promotes vocational, technological and serviceoriented education and training.
Malcolm Harris, chief executive of WorldSkills New Zealand, says he is ‘‘thrilled with the performance of the NZITP Skills Team at the WorldSkills International competition.’’
‘‘A gold medal won by Jarrod Wood in the aircraft maintenance category sealed a very good team performance with another five competitors winning Medallions of Excellence for top scores.’’
The WorldSkills International Competition occurs every two years. The next one will be hosted in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
‘‘It has been an amazing journey that has taken me to some fantastic places.’’
Air New Zealand aircraft engineer Jarrod Wood says maintaining aircraft is ‘‘very rewarding’’.
Jarrod Wood in between representatives from Finland and Korea.