Finalists in this year???s WorldSkills Barbados Competition have been told to stand out from the pack and strive for excellence.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, shared these motivational words with competitors at the launch of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2016, at Almond Bay, Hastings, Christ Church on Tuesday.

Congratulating them for successfully making it to the finals of the biennial skills competition, she pointed out: ???Innovative ideas emerge in the ‘pressure cooker’ of competition. In competition you always have to up your game. You need to think, what else I am going to do to make my product more attractive, to make me stand out.???

Describing the competition as an investment in skills development and human capital, she noted that it fitted in with the island’s Human Resource Development Strategy, by helping to strengthen the national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system through the provision of effective, high quality, demand-driven education and training.

The Labour Minister also lauded the decision to host WorldSkills Barbados at BMEX, which will be held from May 13 to 16 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. She was of the view that it would help finalists to appreciate the necessary connections between training, skills development, the workforce, entrepreneurship and business.

Organised by the TVET Council Barbados, WorldSkills Barbados targets students between the ages of 16 and 21 enrolled in technical and vocational institutions. This year, the 20 finalists represent the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB).

They will be required to complete a series of tasks based on WorldSkills International standards in one of the four skill areas: Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, Garment Making or Hairdressing.

The finalists in the WorldSkills Barbados Automotive Technology category are: Akeil Craig-Browne (SJPP), Anthony Edghill (BVTB), Hakeel Watson (SJPP), Jatoine Roach (SJPP) and Shawn Marshall (BVTB).

In Culinary Arts, the finalists are Destiny Armstrong, Sabrina Chapman, Shawntel Smith, Terrel Derrick and Tinisha Hall, all students of the BVTB.??Conversely, the Garment Making finalists are all enrolled at the SJPP. They are Arielle Rock, Crystal-Anne Miller, Roshida Griffith, Samara Hippolyte and Ti-Juana Devonish.

The hairdressing finalists from BVTB are Ariel Roberts, Takiya Jordon and Rashida Price, while Cherry-lee Phillips and Shaquani Hunte will represent SJPP.

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