2013 Global Skills Challenge Recap

The 2013 Global Skills Challenge (GSC) officially came to an end the evening of Friday May 3rd, when over 200 guests converged at the Duxton Hotel to bid farewell, bon voyage and mempunyai perjalanan bagus, to their new international friends. The Duxton Ballroom was filled with WorldSkills themed balloons, relief, excitement and many newly formed friendships. It was a fitting conclusion for the exhilarating week which preceded it.

Over 12 WorldSkills Member countries/regions joined WorldSkills Australia (WSA) at the Global Skills Challenge in Perth. In honour of both local and international guests, WSA hosted a dinner to officially welcome all delegates to the 2013 GSC, Perth. The function, held at the Burwsood on Swan, was officially opened by the Hon. Terry Redman, Minister for Training and Workforce Development. Other speakers included Jill Jamieson, Managing Director for Polytechnic West and Brian Wexham, Chair of WorldSkills Australia. Highlights from the evening included an authentic Australian barbeque and a traditional Aboriginal dance routine.

Tuesday, April 30th marked day one of the GSC. Competitors, experts, team leaders, trainers and translators, each boarded their respective buses to make their way to one of three Polytechnic West Campuses; Bentley, Carlisle and Midland. Day one of competition kicked off at 8:00am sharp and proved to be difficult for some as they familiarised themselves with their category projects. By the end of Tuesday, projects began to take form; patterns were cut, paint colours were matched and metals were welded. See footage from day one of competition.

After an exciting first day, the 86 competitors returned for days two and three of competition with renewed energy, a better understanding of their projects and desire to compete to the best of their abilities. In the creatively inclined categories of Hairdressing, Painting and Decorating and Graphic Design Technology, complete modules were looking colourful and vibrant. The sparks were flying in categories such as Welding, Sheetmetal Technology and Construction Metal Work, as pieces of metal were being transformed. It was difficult to see the carpenters, joiners and cabinetmakers amongst the debris of timber and sawdust as the competitors were busily working away on their pergolas, cabinets or drawers. View footage from day two and three of the GSC.

An overarching highlight of the Global Skills Challenge was the involvement of the Hon. Terry Redman, Minister for Training and Workforce Development. The Minister generously gave up his time to not only speak at the Opening Function, but to also visit the competition site on Wednesday May 1st. The Minister was escorted on a tour around Polytechnic West’s, Midland Campus, where he witnessed the competitors in action. He spent his time learning about the event itself, the international projects at hand and the training regimes of the competitors who stood before him. Listen to what Minister Redman had to say about the Global Skills Challenge.

The final day of competition had come faster than most had anticipated and competitors were busily applying the final touches to their projects. The end was now in sight for all competitors; grout was being cleaned, brick work was being dusted, hair was being styled and the refrigeration systems were being tested, all in preparation for the final assessments.

The conclusion of Friday May 3rd marked the official end to another successful Global Skills Challenge. Regardless of the finals marks, all competitors left the competition with a better understanding of what awaits them in July and new set of goals to work towards over the next 60 days.

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the 2013 Global Skills Challenge, in particular the volunteers who assisted with all facets of the competition, the employers who allowed the competitors to attend the event, the sponsors and suppliers who provided the use of their materials and equipment, the international guests who travelled long distances to be a part of it all and our event partners, Polytechnic West, who opened the doors to three of its campuses and made the event a possibility.