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‘Tool Blacks’ to be decided at upcoming WorldSkills competition

'Tool Blacks' to be decided at upcoming WorldSkills competition

Twenty-three young Kiwis will battle it out at Wintec in Hamilton this week in what is dubbed the 'Olympics of the trades.'

The inaugural WorldSkills Oceania Competition will take place from April 14-17 and see the Kiwi team take on 105 competitors from Canada, India, Malaysia, China, Australia and Korea in a total of 30 skill categories.

"The New Zealand WorldSkills team will compete in 18 categories, ranging from aircraft maintenance to various auto and engineering trades, carpentry, joinery, plumbing and heating as well as floristry, hairdressing, restaurant trades and web and graphic design," said WorldSkills NZ chief executive Bruce Howat.

"The competition is intense for the under-23 year olds who are at the top of their respective trades for their age. They will each vie for a spot on the Tool Blacks team – the national WorldSkills team that travels to Brazil in August for the international competition."

WorldSkills International has been around since 1950 and today has 73 member countries and represents 45 skills.

Each WorldSkills competitor has a personalised, hands-on mentoring programme to ensure they have the best shot at winning a medal.

This includes 'mental toughness' training developed exclusively for WorldSkills NZ competitors by Open Fort.

Rural and provincial New Zealand is well represented in the national team, with competitors hailing from Southland, Wellington, New Plymouth, Manawatu-Wanganui, Rotorua, Hamilton, Auckland, Dannevirke, and Nelson.

"One of the gifts of WorldSkills competitions is the confidence the young people gain in their own abilities," says Howat.

"It's helped by receiving the endorsement of a positive peer and skill group that's with them every step of the way."

The public is invited to support the competitors by coming along to the free admission event. It takes place at Wintec in Hamilton from Tuesday 14 February from 9am-4pm through to Thursday 16 April and on Friday 17 April from 9am –12noon.

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About WorldSkills NZ:

WorldSkills New Zealand is an independent, non-profit charitable trust founded in 1986, dedicated to encouraging young people to excel in vocational skills. This is achieved through exposure to competitions at regional, national and international levels.

About WorldSkills International:

WorldSkills International is the global hub for skills excellence and development. Through international cooperation and development between industry, government, organisations, and institutions, we promote the benefits of, and need for, skilled professionals through grassroots community projects, skill competitions, and knowledge exchange.

We show how important skills education and training is for youth, industries and society by challenging young professionals around the world to become the best in the skill of their choice.