2 Sarawakians to pit their skills at 2019 Worldskills Competition

Mahfuz (centre) addressing the reporters.

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, April 10: Two Sarawakians will join the 20-strong Malaysian contingent to compete in the 2019 WorldSkills Competition (WSC) in Kazan, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, this Aug 22-27.

Hanafi Osman of Giatmara Saratok will compete in the Fashion Technology category, while Ahmad Naim Mohamad Rosli from Akademi Binaan Malaysia (ABM) Sarawak will be participating in the Painting and Decorating category.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the Malaysian contingent would compete in 20 different categories in Russia. The biennial worldwide competition promotes excellence in skills and competence development to uplift the professional skills standard.

“As part of their WSC preparation, the national contingent are currently undergoing intensive training under the guidance of local experts.

“At this moment, 13 of our participants are competing in the 2019 Australia Global Skills Challenge (April 10-14) to gain international-level exposure.

“This includes our Sarawakian participant (Hanafi) in the Fashion Technology field,” he told reporters after paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

Mahfuz said the deadline to register for the WorldSkills Malaysia Sarawak Competition (WSMS), taking place here on Sept 9-13, had been extended.

The competition, to identify young Sarawakians with excellent skills in their fields, is open to all youths aged 21 years and below. So far, 130 entries have been received.

The Sarawak-leg will feature participants from both private and public industrial skills training centres, including universities and higher learning institutes.

“We also welcome school leavers and working youths. Participants not necessarily have to be a student or trainees to provide an opportunity to everybody with skills to demonstrate and further improve on their ability,” he pointed out.

Mahfuz said the WSMS 2019 competition would showcase 15 fields in welding, electrical installation, bricklaying, painting and decorating, cooking, refrigeration and air conditioning, automobile technology, IT software solution for business, web technology, IT network system administration, fashion technology, beauty therapy, hairdressing, restaurant service, and mechanical design CAD.

Winners in the Sarawak-level WorldSkills competition will be selected to compete in the WorldSkills Malaysia Belia competition. Successful participants could go on to represent the country in the Asean Skills Competition and WorldSkills Competition.

“We are calling on Sarawakian youths to accept this challenge and show the world that they have what it takes to compete at the international stage,” he continued.

Mahfuz said WSMS was a strategic collaboration between the state and federal government, which involved the Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry as well as the Skill Development Department Sarawak as the main organiser.

He added that TVET Carnival 2019 would also be held concurrently with the WSMS 2019 this September to further promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) among youths.

The organising of WSMS and TVET Carnival could further attract youths to pursue studies in technical skills.

Activities that will be held during the carnival included exhibition, skills demonstration, interviews for internship by participating organisations, job fair, skills seminar and dialogue with industry players.

“We hope to open the mindset of our youths on the job opportunities and marketability of technical skills. We want them to know that there are other options if one does not do well in their schooling.

“At the same time, we are encouraging students and youths to hone their skill set and not be afraid to venture into technical studies and training if they have the talent for any particular skills,” Mahfuz said.

Sarawak first held its WSMS Competition in 2017. — DayakDaily