Western Cape youth win big at national skills competition
The Western Cape bagged 21 medals, including five golds, at the World Skills SA competition held in Durban.
The competition aims to promote vocational careers by allowing young people under the age of 22 who are studying, working, training or completing apprenticeships to compete against other young people in their chosen field.
Participants spend hours training, honing their skills in areas ranging from car painting and bricklaying to cooking and beauty therapy.
Those chosen for the national team, will go on to compete against other young people from all over the world at the global competition to be held in Russia in August.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape has sponsored the Western Cape participants in the 2018/19 year, allowing them to compete in the local competitions and to travel to Durban for the national event which took place this week.
Minister Schäfer said: “Developing skills among our youth is one of our priority focus areas in the Western Cape and the fact that we have fared so well in the national competition is proof of the talent, drive and hard work of the young people in our province.”
She added: “Trades and vocational skills are an important tool in helping us tackle the high youth unemployment numbers in the country. By developing these kinds of skills, we are equipping young people to go into careers in these fields, or to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses further down the line.”
“Some of the skills in which these young people have demonstrated proficiency are in high demand on the Department of Higher Education and Training’s list of occupations, which bodes well for their future career prospects.”
The five gold winners were:
Autobody repair: Jacobus Coetzee
Hairdressing: Nicole Thebus
Plumbing and heating: Kegan Lucas
Refrigeration and air conditioning: David La Grange
Beauty Therapy: Bridney Cloete
The Western Cape team also picked up eight silver and eight bronze medals.
Minister Schäfer said: “We wish those who will be competing in Russia later this year the very best of luck and hope that they will be returning to the province with even more medals to add to the tally.”