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'Tool Blacks' Selection Narrows After National Competition

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
'Tool Blacks' Selection Narrows After National Competition

Some of New Zealand's best young trade trainees are a step closer to representing New Zealand as part of the 'Tool Blacks' team heading to WorldSkills 2011 in London.

National winners were announced today after a week of competition in Christchurch which showcased trades such as plumbing, printing, joinery, hairdressing, floristry, bricklaying and cooking.

WorldSkills 2011 is the equivalent of the Olympics for young people involved in trade and technical training programmes and gives New Zealand's best young performers a chance to pit their skills against the world's best.

Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills New Zealand, Peter Spencer, says the aim of the competition is to celebrate excellence in workplace training and to benchmark New Zealand's trade skills against the best in the world.

"For some young people this may be the first chance they've had to excel in a competitive environment with national representation at stake," he says.

More than 120 young people competed in Christchurch this week. The four-day event, held at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, went ahead in spite of the quake and ongoing aftershocks.

Mr Spencer says competition was tough and standards extremely high.

"These young people are quite exceptional when it comes to focus and dedication and that's what WorldSkills competitions are all about. It's about striving for excellence in workplace skills and raising the bar for the rest of industry."

Mr Spencer says medal winners from the National competition are now up for selection for the 'Tool Blacks' team, which will be named in December.

Winners of Gold at WorldSkills Nationals 2011

Region Name Category City

Canterbury Jake Askers Autobody repair Dunsandel

Wellington Drew Avery Automotive Refinishing Upper Hutt

Northland Curtis Hartley Automotive Technology Kaitaia

Northland Benjamin Roche Bricklaying Wellsford

Manawatu Andrew Watson Carpentry Palmerston North

Auckland Alasdair Bennett Cooking Grey Lynn

Otago Southland Jason Armstrong Electrical Installations Oamaru

Canterbury Mathew Pascoe Fitting Christchurch

Canterbury Aroha Hebberd Floristry Blenheim

Otago/Southland Laura Simpson Hairdressing North Dunedin

Wellington Christopher Evans Joinery Porirua

Manawatu William Taylor Light fabrication Palmerston North

Auckland Robert Hamilton Marine cabinetmaking Northcote

Otago Southland Scott Nicholson Plumbing

Auckland Mitchell Tomai Printing Mt Wellington

NZDF Kirsty Lister Restaurant Service Palmerston North

Waikato/BOP Brad Wood Welding Putararuru

WorldSkills - some background

WorldSkills New Zealand is part of a worldwide group (approx 60 countries) which organise trade competitions within their own countries and form teams to compete at the biennial international competition.

WorldSkills NZ's mission is to challengeNew Zealand to achieve world class standards by demonstrating excellence through workplace skills competitions for young people.

WorldSkills NZ currently caters for more than 20 skills categories covering everything from automotive and building trades to floristry and catering.

The WorldSkills National Finals were held at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology from 22-26 September 2010.

The Tool Blacks team that will represent New Zealand in London will be named in December.

WorldSkills London will be held at the ExCel London Exhibition and conference centre in London's docklands from 5-8 October 2011.

There will be 45 official competition zones at WorldSkills London 2011, covering everything from bricklaying to hairdressing.

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