Tuesday, September 28, 2010

World Skills competitions, New Zealand finals 2010 held at CPIT

World skills was held at CPIT last week. Most competitions went for 3 days (across around 20 plus hours) and competitors generally worked on building some form of product.

I popped in to the CPIT Sullivan Avenue campus on Friday and Saturday to watch the activities in plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, marine cabinetry, engineering/fitting, light fabrication and welding. Also had a quick look at competitions on the main CPIT campus including front of house, cookery and floristry. Other trades I did not have time to get to were hairdressing, autobody repair / finishing, automotive technology and electrotechnology – industrial controls and electrical installations. All in, a good opportunity to see trade apprentices at work. Winners were announced on Sunday with dinner at the CPIT training restaurant, Visions. The 'toolblacks' who will represent New Zealand at the final Worldskills competitions in London in 2011 will be announced in December. Fund raising continues to raise money for the team.

Of note was the use, by many trades, of the skill of reading plans and transposing a 2D image into a 3D product, the range of tools and skill used in many trades and the complexity of some of the tasks each apprentice had to work through. In many trades, there were more judges than competitors, so scrutiny of work-skills and craftspersonship was intense. Time was also a factor in several competitions with some competitors not quite completing their projects. Approaches taken by competitors as they engaged with tasks was also interesting to observe. Some tutors about to explain what was taking place to the audience and having some commentary for events of a similar nature is always helpful to assist understanding of the tasks by lay people.

The learning that has been undertaken for each of the apprentice competitors would have been concentrated as many had only been in the trade for around three years. Yet, in the main, most were able to produce products to journeyperson standards. Might be a possible research project here, to study the motivations of high performing apprentices, what drives them to achieve beyond just competency and why they have a drive to excel at their craft/trade.


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Jerry Gene said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

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