NAIT students show in WorldSkills

November 6, 2017

Three of NAIT’s own have returned from representing Canada in the 2017 WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi with modest results. Canada sent 31 competitors who participated in over 25 different skilled trades and service industry tasks in Asia from Oct. 15-18, placing 27th in medal points overall with one bronze medal.

WorldSkills is a network for promoting and encouraging youth to pursue and excel in a skill of their choice. Through skill competitions and effective education, WorldSkills aims to demonstrate to young adults the importance of service-oriented careers for a community.

WorldSkills represents over 45 skills with participants from 75 countries in order to prepare today’s youth for the careers that will shape the future.

The WorldSkills competition is held every two years and Ryley LaFrance, Aaron Taves, and Ryan Matsuba – competing in Industrial Control, Auto Service and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – represented NAIT at this year’s competition. The event was hosted at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, with over 100,000 visitors, making it the largest event in the 67-year history of WorldSkills.

Amongst the hardware, Canada took home 13 Medallions of Excellence, which are awarded to competitors with a high point score, who weren’t able to place.

Ryley LaFrance has held the title of provincial gold medallist in Alberta for two consecutive years and competed for Canada in the Industrial Control contest.

“I know for a fact it will forever be a highlight of my life and was an experience that will influence my career for the better,” said Lafrance.

“I am so proud to have been able to represent Canada in the largest competition of skilled trades in the world. It truly was a humbling experience.”

Ryan Matsuba from Spruce Grove was awarded a Medallion of Excellence in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning skill while Aaron Taves from Camrose took home a Medallion of Excellence for his work in the Automobile Technology skill.

Canada’s bronze was won by Avery Bird and Theodor Willert in the Mechatronics skill. The team is from Toronto and Etobicoke, Ontario respectively.

China won first place in medal points with 15 gold, seven silver and eight bronze and was followed by Korea in second place and Switzerland in third.

The next WorldSkills competition in 2019 will be held in Kazan, Russia.

– Seth Hennig