PHOTO: Higher Education Permanent Secretary, Dr Alfred van Kent and Namibia’s Best of Nations Winner, Erkana Imene, (RVTC Competitor in the Plumbing & Heating Category)
Namibia made a proud and memorable debut at the 2015 WorldSkills Competition, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, from the 11th to the 16th of August 2015.
Although the four Namibian competitors, Rakel Amutenya (Bricklaying), Joseph Nakatumbe (Joinery), Fanuel Mathias (Electrical General) and Erkana Imene (Plumbing and Pipeheating) did not finish amongst the medal winners, they gave a good account of themselves and demonstrated that the skill level of Namibian Vocational Education and Training trainees is indeed on par with the rest of the world. Imene’s score of 453 out of 500 points bagged him the ‘Best of Nation’ Award as the best Namibian contestant. He is enrolled at the Rundu Vocational Training Centre. The United Kingdom’s Gary Doyle and Germany’s Nathanael Liebergeld won gold in this category.
On her part, Amutenya, finished with a score of 417 out of 500 points. Amutentya, a trainee at the NamWater Human Resources Development Centre attracted a lot of international media attention as one of only two female competitors in the Bricklaying category. Italy’s Florian Hochgruber landed the gold medal in this category.
Nakatumbe’s final score in the Joinery category was 445 out of 500. He is enrolled at the Namibia Institute for Mining and Technology (NIMT). Si Shueh Hyi from Chinese Tapei was the gold medal winner in this category.
Namibia’s competitor in the Electrical Installations category, Fanuel Mathias, amassed 449 out of 500 points. He is a trainee at the NamPower Training Centre. Brazil’s Junior Carlos won gold in this category. WorldSkills Namibia Technical Delegate, Sens Shoolongo also received a special recognition award for his excellent work as Jury President in the Electronics category.
NTA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Beukes, thanked the Namibian nation at large for their support to the team. “Our maiden participation in WorldSkills International has indeed been a proud and historical moment for the local technical and vocational training fraternity, and our country as a whole. Our team has done us proud. Not only did they showcase their technical and professional skills to a worldwide audience, but they’ve focused on honing the skills they need for the workplace”, he emphasised.
Host nation, Brazil’s impressive medal haul saw it crowned the overall winners. Namibia is not the only country that could not win a medal, as many established economic powerhouses, such as Russia and India also fell short. The United States of America could only land a single bronze medal.
WorldSkills International (WSI) is an international skills competition for youth that is held in a different member country every two years. Competitors from 17 to 22 years old demonstrate their excellence in a number of different skilled trades and technology contest areas. The competitions raise awareness about technical and vocational professions to encourage youth to explore such training and career opportunities. Altogether 1189 competitors from 59 countries took part in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil.