Recently, WorldSkills Australia (WSA) staged the 2013 Global Skills Challenge (GSC) in Perth. This event has become a significant event in the WSA calendar as an extremely valuable training exercise for the Team Australia Skillaroos as they prepare for the demands and challenges of the International Competition. With only seven weeks until the Skillaroos depart for Germany, the GSC provided a renewed focus for the final stages of training, highlighting areas that require further attention. From that point of view, it has been invaluable.
The 2013 GSC is an important event from a strategic point of view as it allows us to highlight one of the benefits of being a part of an International organisation. The 2013 GSC saw representation from 12 Member countries/regions with participation from many Asian members including China, India, Malaysia and Japan. As we continue to hear of the importance of Australia’s relationship and connections with Asia, WSA has shown it can play a role in facilitating these connections via the international WorldSkills network. We look forward to continuing to work with the Australian Government to ensure we maximise the benefits of these existing relationships.
Perhaps the highlight of the week of the GSC for me though, was the opportunity of escorting Minister Terry Redman (WA Minister for Training & Workforce Development) around the competition at the Polytechnic West Midland Campus. Not only did he get to see the competitors in action but he also had the chance to speak with the WSA International Experts. What came through yet again in these discussions, was the tremendous amount of passion that the WSA Experts have for passing on their knowledge and being able to witness the growth of the young Australians who progress through the WSA competitions. While this was the first time Minister Redman had visited a WSA competition and had heard these stories, it was something that I have the privilege of seeing and hearing on a regular basis from the vast volunteer network that are the backbone of WSA – from the regional level right through to the international stage. It is this passion and dedication that drives WSA programs.