Skills and thrills

Fur­ther skills need to be on the agenda, writes Ben Pike

The Advertiser - Careers - - Learning Curve -

COM­PET­ING against sharper op­po­nents at the 42nd World­Skills In­ter­na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion has high­lighted the need for Aus­tralia to in­crease in­vest­ment in vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing.

The Skil­la­roos fin­ished the com­pe­ti­tion, which has be­come the Olympics of vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, with one gold, two sil­ver and one bronze medals at the July 2-7 event.

Four­teen of Aus­tralia’s 31 com­peti­tors were also given medal­lions of ex­cel­lence.

De­spite the shin­ing in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances in Ger­many, Aus­tralia has slipped down the World­Skills rank­ings from 5th in 2009 to 7th in 2011 and 13th this year.

The slide has co­in­cided with a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of coun­tries com­pet­ing since 2009, with 67 now in­volved.

World­Skills Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Cal­laghan is call­ing for 2015 to be the year we push back up the rank­ings. ‘‘ The UK ranked above us for the first time in many com­pe­ti­tions,’’ he says.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one wants to beat the Poms in ev­ery­thing and it is prob­a­bly some­thing that will stick in our craw that we have been beaten by the UK.

‘‘ We want to make sure that we move up the rank­ings next time.

‘‘ The rank­ing is not ideal. It serves as a bit of re­minder that we need to in­vest in hu­man cap­i­tal.

‘‘ Our hu­man re­sources will in­crease our pro­duc­tiv­ity and per­for­mance.’’

Aus­tralia has been in­volved in World­Skills since 1981, with the in­ter­na­tional event serv­ing as a show­case of our best and bright­est ap­pren­tices in the tech­ni­cal and trade oc­cu­pa­tions. Cal­laghan says in­di­vid­u­als who want to be at World­Skills 2015 in Brazil must get in­volved in re­gional com­pe­ti­tions now.

‘‘ At the end of the day, all of the 31 Skil­la­roos have im- proved their tech­ni­cal and per­sonal skills,’’ he says.

‘‘ They will all go back to their places of work with more con­fi­dence and the abil­ity to take on more re­spon­si­bil­ity.’’

Jessica Martin won the sil­ver medal for restau­rant ser­vice, of­fi­cially mak­ing her one of the best young wait­ers on the planet.

The 21-year-old ex­celled in the cat­e­gories of fine din­ing, ca­sual din­ing, cock­tail mak­ing, carv­ing meat and fruit at the ta­ble and chateaubriand (a brandy-doused flam­ing steak served at the ta­ble).

She is also an ex­pert in wine and spirit iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

‘‘ I left in Year 10 know­ing this is what I wanted to do. The com­pe­ti­tion in Ger­many was the four hard­est work­ing days of my life,’’ the Syd­neysider says.

‘‘ I’ve been ap­proached by some places over­seas but I want to give back to my em­ployer first be­cause they sup­ported me so much.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.