Sixteen young people will be heading to Canada next week to show off their expertise in various trades at an international skills contest. The delegates were winners of the 1998 Hong Kong Youth Skills Competition jointly organised by the Vocational Training Council (VTC), Construction Industry Training Authority, Clothing Industry Training Authority and Industrial Training Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. They will be taking part in the 35th World Skills Competition from November 11 to 14 in Montreal. The delegates attended a flag presentation ceremony held by the VTC recently. They will compete in 15 out of 38 trade categories, including mechatronics, information tech nology, cooking, ladies' dressmaking, automobile technology, graphic design, wall and floor tiling and beauty care, in the biannual world competition. About 600 young people from 34 countries and cities are taking part in the competition. The SAR delegation is headed by Ng Tat-lun, VTC deputy chairman and chairman of the Standing Com mittee of the Hong Kong Youth Skills Competition. 'The previous competition was an enrich ing experience for us,' he said. 'It gave us a better idea of our own standards and provided young people with the opportunity to exchange skills with talented youths from around the world.' The Hong Kong delegates won three bronze medals in ladies' dressmaking, information technology and jewellery and four diplomas in the 1997 competition. 'Hong Kong's vocational training has reached international standard. I am expecting an even better result this year,' Mr Ng said. Happy Yu Fai, 20, a third year higher diploma design student, will compete in the graphic de sign category. He said although he had no idea of what the contest would be, he was confident. 'My style is to mix Chinese and Western cultures,' he said. 'I hope the judges will find this element interesting.' Mr Yu said he was influenced by Japanese designers. 'I visited Japan and was amazed by their simple, neat and creative designs,' he said. Yeung Ping-kit, 22, who works in the jewellery trade, graduated in July. 'It is rather exhausting. I have to practise after work to prepare for the competition, but I found that my skills have improved,' he said.