Canadian youth shine at Skills Canada Competition
Mazak Corp. Canada lends a hand with the CNC Machining competition
When the organizers of the Canadian Skills Competition launched the first event back in 1994, no one could have predicted how popular it would become.
This year’s 16th Canadian Skills Competition (May 20-23) brought together more than 550 competitors, 10,000 attendees and more than 50 industry sponsors and partners.
This year’s event was particularly important because it was the primary qualification event for the 2011 WorldSkills Competition, which will be held in London, UK, in the fall of next year.
The event took place at RIM Park, Waterloo, ON, where 40 different events in six trades and technology categories were held: transportation, construction, manufacturing, information and technology, service and employment.
In the manufacturing category there were several relevant industry events including precision machining, mechanical CADD, CNC Machining, Welding, Sheet Metal Work, Automation & Control, Robotics and Car Painting.
Of particular note was the CNC Machining Competition, which was held at nearby Mazak Corp. Canada’s Cambridge, ON, facility.
Ray Buxton, general manager of Mazak Canada, noted in an earlier news story about the event, that “due to power availability and floor loading concerns at the main event location at RIM Park in Waterloo, ON, Mazak also offered our Technology Center as the CNC competitions location.”
Buxton added that Skills Canada also initially approached the company to provide machinery for the competition.
He also noted that the CNC competition alone attracts more than 2000 people per day “and the size and capabilities of our facility as well as its proximity to RIM park make this an ideal fit.”
Buxton added that “Mazak Canada is committed to help attract young people into our industry. The positions in our industry are highly paid and involve working with sophisticated computer controlled equipment. Both competitors and visitors to the competition will be able to view some of the most complex machine tools in the industry operating in our facility and view our world class training facilities.”
Mazak Canada has committed to host the Skills Competition machining events in its facility in Cambridge through to 2012.
Canadian Metalworking contacted Buxton after the event to find out how it went.
“The competition was very good and it was great to see so many young people compete from across Canada. There was even a competitor from the Yukon! We hosted the competition in order to support our industry and the competition was a great success,” adding that the metalworking industry should get behind such an event.
“We always struggle in Canada with getting our industry spotlit and I think this is one area we really want to have the entire metalworking community work on. If we want to boost the interest from your people to embrace metalworking as a career.”
Commenting after the closing ceremony, Shaun Thorson, executive director of Skills Canada, said that “Industries that depend on skilled trade workers are key drivers of our economy and contribute over 50 per cent of Canada’s GDP. The Canadian Skills Competition is a unique event that helps showcase and raise awareness for the broad range of opportunities to be found in the trades, while demonstrating the depth of talent within the skills movement in Canada.”
First Place Winners