The New Zealand National Worldskills 2018 Competition

Indy’s Skills Squad training took us across the ditch to practice alongside the Kiwis this week at Wintec Trades College in Hamilton.

Australia’s top young Graphic Designer (Gold Medal winner from our Sydney Skills Show) took on the challenge and performed exceptional well.

We both learnt a stack from our hosts, including past competitor and gold medalist Jarrod Wood, Kiwi expert Sherein Abdel-Al and Medallion of Excellence winner in Abu Dhabi 2017 (now judge) Sarah Browning.

A few rush notes for reflection:

  1. Whilst it was a tiny national event and only nine skills showcased at Wintec, there is a great passion and buoyancy in the WS NZ team. Even the CEO, Malcolm Harris picked us up at 5:30am from Auckland Airport to bring us down to Hamilton. Very welcoming and generous hosts. Humble — Like Hobbits I guess.
  2. Worldskills starts at the regional level, but it is a vast island and logistically, tricky to drive around. With tight funding, NZ has an uphill battle to train and engage their young people to excel in vocational and trade-based skills.
  3. All competitors need to know how CIS works and the ins-and-outs of judgment and measurement marking keys. It should form a sizeable amount (in the early stages, around 40–50% of their theoretical training.) This awareness improves the competitor’s creative skills, time management and is the quickest way to gain points, confidence and momentum on the Skills Squad early.
  4. It isn’t a holiday. We have done zero sight-seeing. But, we have deepened relationships with our closest natural ally and immersed ourselves in competition training. It has been well worth the investment of time.
  5. Behind the positive travel reports, new friendships, happy snaps and confidence building, there is the sound of a clock ticking and a mountain of improvement still requiring traversing. Participating in the NZ nationals so soon after the Skills Show in Sydney has provided a much needed boost and re-calibration.

Big high-fives for Indy and a sincere thanks to our hosts (Sherein, Sarah and Martin), competitors and the broader Team NZ.