WorldSkills Hong Kong 2018: Inspiring Skills Excellence
Last week saw the successful completion of the months-long WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition 2018, in which top winners of 25 trades were selected. Hong Kong representatives will be chosen to take part in the WorldSkills Competition, hailed as the Skills Olympics, to be held in Kazan, Russia, next year.
David Hoey, Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills International with a vision to improve the world with the power of skills, was the guest of honour at the prize presentation ceremony of WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition this year. He said in an exclusive interview, “Skills change the lives of young people around the globe. With our members in 79 countries and regions around the world, we build the confidence of millions of young people, empowering communities and fueling economies.”
Hoey has long advocated for wider recognition of skills-based qualifications. “More and more countries are putting a greater emphasis on encouraging young people to choose a vocational career. Vocational education is critical to today's economy. To be competitive and strong, education must prepare the workers to meet the industry demands and opportunities,” he said.
The WorldSkills Competition reflects the diversity of industry and commerce across the world. It provides a platform for young people to showcase their skills excellence. Alongside the changing job landscape and industries, jobs not seen five years ago have now arisen. “It is very important that we continue to introduce new skills competitions based upon new and emerging technologies and sectors,” Hoey added. “These represent exciting career opportunities for young people, attractive business opportunities for companies, and economic development for countries."
Chairman of the Standing Committee on Youth Skills Competition of Hong Kong, Dr Clement Chen Cheng-jen, praised the young participants, “Every skill can be developed into a profession. We encourage young people to participate in skills competition, and these experiences are conducive to their personal and career development.”
Nineteen-year-old Cody Hon Ho-yuk is among the three winners in the newly added category of Cloud Computing in WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition.
Having just completed the Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration programme at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), he is an example of a youth who has developed rewarding skills and clear goals through vocational training.
In the local competition, he beat 35 other contestants in creating cloud systems that met clients’ requirements in three days. “The task was intensive. But I craved the opportunities to challenge myself, and push myself beyond my limits,’’ Hon said.
He is aiming to develop his future career in the world of Fintech. “The finance sector is intertwined with information technology,”
Hon said. “My knowledge in cloud will enable me to deal with challenges of a different kind in the industry, like block chain technology.”
Cyrus Wong Chun-yin, a lecturer at IVE (Lee Wai Lee)’s Department of Information Technology and an expert in Cloud Computing Trade, said of the competition, “Cloud computing is a high growth industry with huge significance in today’s world. The competition is a test of each contestant’s ability in innovative problem solving. It reminds us learning nowadays is more than just memorising.”
Intensive training would be provided for the Hong Kong representatives to get prepared for WorldSkills Kazan next year. There will be about 1,400 competitors from 60 countries in over 52 skills competitions from mobile robotics, visual merchandising to beauty therapy and restaurant service.
“We are expecting 250,000 visitors to the event; we want to show that it does not matter what your qualification is; skilled trades and technology are critical to a country’s economic output,” said Hoey.