The six young Barbadians who competed in WorldSkills Kazan 2019 in Russia have been hailed as “pioneers” by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Dr. Romel Springer.
He was speaking at a presentation ceremony to award the Barbadian delegation that participated in the world’s largest technical and vocational skills competition in August in Kazan, Russia. There, over 1,300 young persons from 63 countries competed in one of 56 skill areas.
Representing the island were Terrique Ward in Car Painting; Shae White in Cooking; Peabo Sampson in Fashion Technology; Kristina Patrick in Graphic Design Technology; Zaria Archer in Hairdressing, and Danny Mayers in Restaurant Service.
Congratulating the competitors, Dr. Springer said they represented “pioneers on a journey meant to help Barbados compete successfully with the rest of the world”.
“Quality competitions have been proven to raise standards in particular disciplines. It drives individuals to strive for excellence. Those countries that have invested heavily in skills development are, by no coincidence succeeding at WorldSkills, and thriving economically, for example, China, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Brazil,” he pointed out.
The education official said Barbados was now more focused on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) than it ever was.
“We can see where skills can take us, when you look at Robotics, Drone Technology, 3D printing, Coding, these new and emerging industries, it is important that we get it right and put measures in place and that young persons like you step up to the plate and become change agents for us,” he said.
Dr. Springer also urged the youngsters to seek excellence in their skill areas and to keep their skills up to date.
“Having been through this competition you have had a level of exposure that many other persons in your field would never get to experience. You must leverage that exposure and experience that you have had in Russia to help advance and enhance your skills going forward.
“You have already started and gotten this far, if you apply the same energy [going forward] you can get much further. We would love to keep you here [in Barbados] but do not be afraid to go wherever your skills take you,” Dr. Springer advised.
Barbados’ Technical Delegate to WorldSkills, Dario Walcott, added that while the island did not medal, there was an improvement in its overall performance since last competing in the international event at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017.
He explained that points and placings were based on the Standardized Score WorldSkills Scale or the 700 scale. Based on this system, competitors scoring 700 or more would have met the WorldSkills standard and would be awarded a Medallion for Excellence.
Scoring the highest on the Barbadian team was Shae White in Cooking, who placed 28th out of 46 competitors, with 693 points. She was awarded the Best of Nation Award, which goes to the competitor with the highest total score from their country.
Peabo Sampson scored 672 points in Fashion Technology; Kristina Patrick gained 649 points in Graphics Design Technology; Terrique Ward scored 638 points in Car Painting; Danny Mayers earned 605 points in Restaurant Service while Zaria Archer scored 498 points in Hairdressing.