Trades chal­lenge for ap­pren­tices

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LIBBY WIL­SON

A seven-hour com­pe­ti­tion is no big­gie for a teenage ap­pren­tice used to work­ing 12-hour shifts.

Toko­roa’s Shea Keir, 19, was one of a hand­ful of young trades­peo­ple who spent their week­end com­pet­ing in a Waikato re­gional round of World­skills.

The com­pe­ti­tion is of­ten de­scribed as an olympics of the trades and in­cludes cat­e­gories such as air­craft main­te­nance, floristry, and web and graphic de­sign.

But it was all trades at Win­tec’s Ro­tokauri cam­pus on Satur­day as main­te­nance en­gi­neers and au­to­mo­tive tech­ni­cians worked their way through tasks with a time limit – and a judge watch­ing their ev­ery move.

A tu­tor sug­gested the com­pe­ti­tion to Shea and the ap­pren­tice fit­ter from Toko­roa saw it as a good op­por­tu­nity.

Par­tic­i­pants were work­ing for about seven hours on their projects.

‘‘Just a short day. I work 12-hour shifts,’’ he said.

The re­gional event was his first trades com­pe­ti­tion, but he’d love to make it to na­tional level

‘‘The hard­est part of to­day [was] I haven’t been on a lathe for a long time and I used to do a lot of ma­chin­ing, so it’s get­ting back on and get­ting used to ev­ery­thing.’’

Ac­cu­racy – down to hun­dredths of a mil­lime­tre – was needed for the ma­chin­ing project, Waikato com­pe­ti­tion co­or­di­na­tor Roland Spirig said.

And mak­ing metal dice was

‘‘If they win their na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, then they’re el­i­gi­ble to go to an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion ... that’s in Abu Dhabi next year.’’ Roland Spirig, Waikato com­pe­ti­tion co-or­di­na­tor

their sec­ond task, which would in­volve drilling, mark­ing out and weld­ing. A tight time limit put pres­sure on, chief judge Ray­mond Hall said.

‘‘If you think it’s tight here, come na­tion­als, it’s go­ing to be tighter.’’

To be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete at that level, ap­pren­tices must win their re­gional World­skills round, Spirig said. ‘‘If they win their na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, then they’re el­i­gi­ble to go to an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion ... that’s in Abu Dhabi next year.’’

By that stage, ap­pren­tices do a project in 22 hours – spread over four days.

World­skills was a con­fi­dence builder for young ap­pren­tices and de­vel­oped their tech­ni­cal and time man­age­ment skills, he said.

‘‘A lot of the com­peti­tors at in­ter­na­tional level are head­hunted just be­cause they have that level of com­mit­ment and drive to do bet­ter.’’

The 2016 World­skills NZ Na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion will be held at Win­tec start­ing on Septem­ber 29.

PHOTO: WIN­TEC

Shea Keir at the drilling ma­chine work­ing dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.