Young skilled elites made their mark in two competitions last month, namely the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi and World Solar Challenge 2017 in Australia. HKSAR Chief Executive Mrs Carrie LAM met both the WorldSkills Team Hong Kong and the IVE SOPHIE Team in Government House on Wednesday (1 November), congratulating them on their excellent performance on Hong Kong’s behalf.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie LAM commends the Hong Kong participants in the 44th WorldSkills Competition and World Solar Challenge 2017 and meets their delegations.
Mrs Lam hoped that the competitions had broadened competitors’ horizons and enhanced their skills, leading to successful careers in the future.
A total of 22 young competitors – the city’s largest-ever team – represented Hong Kong in 20 categories of the WorldSkills Competition this year, with a Beauty Therapy contestant winning a Bronze Award, the team’s first top three spot since claiming a Gold Award in 2005. The Hong Kong team also earned Medallions for Excellence in seven trades, namely Mechatronics, IT Software Solutions for Business, Web Design and Development, Electrical Installations, Mobile Robotics, Hairdressing, and Visual Merchandising. The Mechatronics team ranked fourth in the world while those from Web Design and Development, Mobile Robotics and Visual Merchandising all finished fifth – a performance that testifies to the globally benchmarked expertise of the Hong Kong competitors.
Also held last month, World Solar Challenge 2017 saw more than 30 students and teachers of the Engineering Discipline of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), a member institution of VTC, become the fourth team to cross the finish line in the challenging Cruiser Class, with their sixth-generation solar-powered car SOPHIE VI. The only Chinese team competing in this Class of the biennial endurance test, SOPHIE VI beat strong contenders from the USA, Australia and Singapore.
At Government House, participants in the two global competitions shared their memorable experiences with the Chief Executive, guests and their parents. Bronze Award winner LAU Wai-yin, a graduate of the Diploma of Vocational Education (Beauty Care) of Youth College, said that in the last segment of the competition, contestants were required togive a model a Middle Eastern-style make up, “Arabian Nights”, using only the cosmetics provided. Wai-yin said she knew nothing about what make-up and colours would be provided until she went on site and discovered that no blue-coloured cosmetics as planned would be available. She immediately changed tack and presented the mysterious Arabian evening in gold colour to good effect. Wai-yin thanked her expert mentors for the comprehensive training they had provided in preparation for the tournament, saying she had achieved a marked improvement in skills, flexibility and responsiveness.
After undergoing extended preparatory training with experts, the young Hong Kong competitors win eight awards at the 44th WorldSkills Competition. HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie LAM (second row, middle) has a group photo with the competitors and experts.
Recipient of a Medallion for Excellence in the Electrical Installations trade, CHAN Siu-lam is a graduate of the Craft Certificate for Electricians of Youth College and currently a technician with the HKSAR Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. He thanked the employer for its support, which had allowed him to receive five days’ full-time preparatory training with VTC experts in the six months prior to the competition. During this time, he was also given the chance to participate in local and regional competitions to gain exposure. At the four-day WorldSkills Competition, Siu-lam competed with peers from 35 countries and regions using uniform circuit coupling materials provided by the organiser, some of which he had never come across before. However, the strength of the training he had received and experiences gained helped him overcame these unfamiliar situations.
IVE graduates of the Higher Diploma in Electrical Engineering MAK Ho-yeung, WONG Man-wai and student LI Kin-pong shared their experiences at World Solar Challenge 2017. Ho-yeung, the driver of SOPHIE VI, said he found it more difficult to manage a solar-powered car than a normal private car as its steering wheel was highly sensitive and the front windscreen smaller. He had to be extra cautious driving it in Australia. And thanks to endurance training in advance, he managed to steer the car in the tight confines of the driver’s seat for at least five hours a day, without air-conditioning for energy saving. Unstable weather during the competition meant that downpours sometimes blocked his visibility and he could only see the road immediately in front of him. Luckily, the team had already done extensive research and analysis of the weather beforehand as well as formulating contingency plans in advance, so were able to remain composed in the face of these climatic hurdles.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie LAM (front row, middle) encourages IVE students and teachers of the Engineering Discipline to further their research and give their best for the community.
Hailed as the “Skills Olympics”, the biennial WorldSkills Competition this year was held from 15-18 October and attracted over 1,300 talented young people from around 60 countries and regions, contesting 51 skills competitions and boasting its largest number of competitors to date. The competition is aimed at promoting professional expertise and the mastery of skills, as well as raising understanding and awareness of vocational and professional education and training in the international community.
Including the honours earned this year, the Hong Kong Team has won two Gold, one Silver, five Bronze prizes and 46 Medallions for Excellence since it first joined the event in 1997. The 45th WorldSkills Competition will be held in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
The World Solar Challenge is also held biennially and brings together tertiary education institutes and enterprises from around the world. More than 40 teams from over 20 countries and regions have joined the last two World Solar Challenge contests, including reputed education institutions like the University of Cambridge, Stanford University and Tokai University. Participating teams need to spend five to six days driving across 3,000 km of the unforgiving Australian outback, a challenge requiring grit and determination as well as professional knowledge.