Over 300 contestants are expected to compete in Jamaica’s 4th National Skills Competition, which will showcase the country’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system.
The competition is scheduled to take place October 6 to 7, at the University of Technology (UTech) in Kingston.
To be held during the staging of the WorldSkills International (WSI) General Assembly, scheduled for October 3 to 10 at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, the competition will feature 40 skill areas in 12 skill sectors, including Agriculture, Information Technology, Commercial Skills, Early Childhood Care and Development, Health-related Services, Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Industrial Maintenance.
The competition and the WSI General Assembly were officially launched at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, New Kingston on Wednesday, September 15.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, speaking at the launch of the WorldSkills International General Assembly and National Skills Competition at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (September 15).
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, in his address at the function, said he was very pleased to see that there is now a new thrust to emphasize, through the competition, the importance of skills training in Jamaica.
He pointed out that the competition focuses the nation’s attention on the excellence of the country’s institutions, in training persons in the various skill areas.
Noting that he has always been a supporter of mainstreaming skills training, in terms of combining academics and skills, Minister Holness stressed that the thrust of Government is to ensure that young people leave the educational institutions with an appropriate knowledge base, and a skill.
Project Manager for WorldSkills Jamaica, Jacqueline Wallder, said that the 368 competitors were drawn from across the education sector, including HEART institutions, high schools, privately owned institutions and tertiary institutions.
She noted that the participants will vie to represent Jamaica at the biennial WorldSkills International Competition in London, next year.
Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, said the skills competition is geared to ensuring that there is the highest level of competency within the Jamaican human capacity in the workforce.
“We have taken the specifications from WorldSkills International, and we are infusing them into the curricular in each skill area that we offer,” she said.
WorldSkills International (WSI) is a non-profit organisation comprising 52 member countries, dedicated to raising the status and standards of vocational education and training, worldwide.
One of WSI’s key strategic events is its annual General Assembly, which provides an opportunity for delegates to meet and facilitate strategic discussions and decisions, in relation to the direction of WSI. Jamaica presented and won its bid against Singapore to host the 2010 General Assembly.
Over 200 delegates from 40 countries worldwide are expected to participate in a host of activities for the event.
The activities include: a welcome reception for the WorldSkills International Board of Directors at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel on Sunday, October 3; opening ceremony for the National Skills Competition at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday, October 5; a Leaders’ Forum at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel and Cultural Evening at the Utech on Wednesday, October 6; the closing ceremony at UTech on Thursday, October 7; WorldSkills International 60th Anniversary Banquet at the Wyndham Hotel, on Saturday, October 9.