The three-day competition, held from 14-17 February at Durban’s ICC, involved 122 competitors. The Western Cape entered 32 participants to perform in 17 of the 22 skills areas, namely: Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Technology, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Spray Painting, CNC Turning, Cooking, Electrical Installations, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, IT Network Systems Administration, IT Software Solution for Business, Plumbing & Heating, Refrigeration & Air-conditioning, Restaurant Service, Web Design and Welding.
Competitors from the Western Cape walked away with eight gold medals, qualifying to represent South Africa in Abu Dhabi at the International World Skills Competition.
The gold medalists were:
- Automotive Body Repair – Mughammad Yacoob Damon, False Bay College
- Beauty Therapy – Abigail Marais, College of Cape Town
- Bricklaying – Mihle Mvelakubi, Northlink College
- CNC Turning – Renier Joseph Wepener, Northlink College
- IT Network System Administration – Cee-Jay Lance Lakey, Northlink College
- IT Software Solutions for Business – Ihsaan Claasen, 24Wireless
- Plumbing and Heating – Siyabonga Makhathini, Northlink College
- Restaurant Service – Lee-Ann Smith, International Hotel School
The province took a further eight medals, including three silver medals and five bronze:
- Beauty Therapy (Silver) – Tarryn Brown, College of Cape Town
- CNC Turning (Silver) – Shane Appollis, Northlink College
- Hairdressing (Silver) – Ruan Aucamp, NX Hair Academy
- Beauty Therapy (Bronze) – Monique Petersen, College of Cape Town
- Electrical Installations (Bronze) – Faghrudeen Samuels, College of Cape Town
- Graphic Design (Bronze) – Rihaco Debruin, Northlink College
- Hairdressing (Bronze) – Almareen Benn, College of Cape Town
- Restaurant Service (Bronze) – Mikyle Lakay, False Bay College
In his opening address at the National WorldSkills Competition, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande said, “The WorldSkills South Africa project is one of the projects in the Department targeting the continuous expansion of the TVET Colleges sector particularly on artisanal skills. To us this crucial event will help enhance and develop skills among our young people as well as increase our efforts in empowering our young people with the competence and knowledge which will allow them to become full and productive participants in our industrial economy.”
The WorldSkills Competition is held every two years and is the biggest vocational global education and skills competition event that attracts participation from young people in industry and training providers from 74 countries.
The competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from WorldSkills competitions in member countries and regions. Participants must demonstrate technical abilities, both individually and collectively, to execute specific tasks for which they are trained or perform in their workspace. One of the main reasons for participating as a country in the WorldSkills Competition is to give visibility and importance to practical vocational education and training, as one of the major vehicles for socio-economic transformation.