Students show off their technical prowess as WorldSkills Singapore competition begins

SINGAPORE - Some 140 young people aiming to be the best in their technical field will show off their know-how in the three-day WorldSkills Singapore competition, which started on Thursday.

Battling it out in 17 categories such as aircraft maintenance, restaurant service and mobile robotics, the students are vying for a chance to represent Singapore at the world finals - widely regarded as the Olympics of Skills - in Brazil next year.

The participants are from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, Shatec institutes and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

At the opening ceremony at ITE College Central, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the efforts of the technical education institutes have contributed to Singapore's low youth unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent. Starting salaries for technical education graduates have also been increasing over the years.

"These strong employment indicators not only show that the approach we have been taking is working, but also that the returns for investing in skills are high, if done right, for the individuals, students and graduates, and for the nation."" he said.

On Saturday, the final day of the biennial competition, the public can attend free workshops on skills from home makeover to health and wellness at ITE College Central in Ang Mo Kio. This is the first time such workshops are being held alongside the WorldSkills competition here.

More information can be found at http://www.worldskills.sg/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/WSS_Workshops.pdf

The results of the competition will be announced at the closing ceremony next Wednesday.