Air­craft tal­ent stands out on the world stage

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KYMBERLEE FER­NAN­DES

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.’’

PHO­TOS SUP­PLIED

Air New Zealand air­craft en­gi­neer Jar­rod Wood says main­tain­ing air­craft is ‘‘very re­ward­ing’’.

Jar­rod Wood in be­tween rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Fin­land and Korea.

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