The World Skills competition, hosted by the affiliated WorldSkills International, is held every two years in different parts of the world for the youth to be able to showcase their skills. Travelling as a team to represent their country, individual competitions within these countries are the determinant in whether a skill-holder will become a part of the group. It has proven to be an effective approach, as many countries use these competitions as a method of measuring their vocational education and training by international benchmarks. The selected group of young people from each participating country don’t only get the chance to demonstrate their technical and vocational skills on the World stage; they compete, too, in the name of a prestigious medal for their skill under a multitude of different industry categories. They include but are not limited to hairdressing, car painting, cooking, restaurant service and fashion and graphic design technology. Doubly, these skills are also the ones that the Barbadian youth will be representing at this year’s competition, to be held in Kazan, Russia.
The WorldSkills presently has 79 member countries and regions which unite for the common goal of fostering young talent in order to create a future workforce that is well prepared Only 63 of these countries, however, were able to watch with pride as their flag was raised at the WorldSkills Village ceremony. Moreover, Jamaica was the only other Caribbean island standing alongside Barbados for what will be the 45th biennial World Skills competition.
Barbados this year boasts of a six-member team, each of whom have a different skill, consisting of Terrique Ward (Car Painting), Shae White (Cooking), Peabo Sampson (Fashion Technology), Kristina Patrick (Graphic Design Technology), Zaria Archer (Hairdressing), and finally Danny Mayers (Restaurant Service). The team could not be complete without its Team Leader, Sarah Gilkes-Daniel and the Official Delegate and Observer, Henderson Eastmond and Dr.Wayne Charles-Soverall respectively, who all took to Russia last Friday, August 16th, 2019. Leaving a day earlier on August 15th were the Skills Experts , who were obligated to do so in order to fill their posts as both judges and coaches of WorldSkills 2019.The Professional Car Painting arena will be represented by Negas Alleyne-Browne while Peter Eadey will take Cooking. Fashion Technology is under Joy Prime, Shelly Mayers for Graphic Design Technology, Arlette Knight-Olton to Hairdressing and Roderick Prescod to Restaurant Service.
The competition is scheduled to take place over the weekend, commencing Friday, August 23rd and ending Monday, August 26th, but not to be officially resolved before Tuesday, August 27th’s closing ceremony. This closing ceremony was paralleled with an opening ceremony as well, which was held at the WorldSkills village in Kazan and featured the hoisting of those 63 flags of countries that had made it into the competition. This Village has been integrated into a green neighbourhood in Kazan which has transformed into a new precinct, home to about 5500 people in both single and double rooms.
As a part of the ceremony, teams of competitors planted trees to symbolize their country in light of the event. Though all members of Team Barbados were present, it would be Fashion Technician Peabo Sampson joined by Restaurant Servitor, Danny Mayers that would have this privilege. The others were sure to cheer them on as they gleefully did the honours. Afterward, all the competitors were treated to a tour of Kazan, a 1,000 city with deep heritage. At the end, they were taken to the Kazan Hippodrome to receive their official greeting at the Welcome Reception. It also served as an opportunity to socialize and participate in traditional activities before the start of the four-day World Skills competition.
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