Team Ireland win four gold medals and one bronze at WorldSkills competition in Russia
Ireland has won four gold medals and a bronze at a “Skills Olympics” where they showcased their talents against 1,600 competitors from 60 countries.
A 17-strong team of apprentices, trainees and students from Ireland competed over four days in the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia.
They displayed their skills across a wide range of career areas including aircraft maintenance, beauty therapy, cabinet making, visual merchandising, brick-laying, plumbing and heating, restaurant service and cookery.
Overall, Ireland came tenth in the world, ahead of the UK which got to 16th place. It beat off stiff competition from many bigger and wealthier countries which entered huge numbers of contestants across a range of skills.
It’s the best Irish result for a long time in the competition which is held in a different country every two years. Last time round in Abu Dhabi, Ireland secured seven medallions of excellence but no gold,
Among those picking up gold for Ireland was Olivier Bal-Petre, in cloud computing category. He also won a ‘Best of Nation’ medal for the highest scoring competitor from Team Ireland.
It was second gold metal in as many months. Last month the TU Dublin student won the International Cloud Computing challenge held in Delhi. Originally from France, Olivier came to Tallaght IT which now forms part of the new technological university in the capital.
Megan Yeates (20) from Kildare, and a student at TU Dublin, is also coming home with gold after her success in freight forwarding, while Adam Flynn from Lismore, Co Waterford won bronze in the industrial millwright mechanic (IMM) category.
Meanwhile, Ryan Dempsey (23), from TU Dublin, and Luke O’Keeffe (20) of Waterford IT also picked up gold in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) contest.
BIM is a highly skilled area which uses sophisticated computer design to help builders, engineers, plumbers, electricians and one where Irish companies lead the way. While not yet officially part of the competition it is one of a group of ‘Future Skills’ trialled alongside this year’s event.
Seven other Irish team members are coming home with Medallions for Excellence are: Christopher Kehoe (Wexford) for Welding, Cormac Thompson (Roscommon) for Aircraft Maintenance, Hanna Mathe (Waterford) for Cookery, Jack O’Donnell (Galway) for Plumbing & Heating, Patrick Twomey (Cork) for Construction Metal Work, Ruairí Grealish (Galway City) for Restaurant Service and Jack Lynch (Cavan) for Cabinetmaking.
Each member of the Irish team, all aged under 25, won their place a the international contest after competing in National Skills Competition at Ireland Skills Live in March 2019.
Ray English from TU Dublin who chairs Worldskills Ireland and is a Technical Delegate at the Kazan competition said Team Ireland was delighted with the results.
SOLAS Director of Apprenticeship and Work-based Learning, Shauna Dunlop said to represent Ireland on an international stage was “a massive achievement in its own right but to also bring home so many medals is a wonderful achievement.”