Polys, ITE score on skills

PHOTO: Heng Swee Keat's Facebook

Singapore has clinched a silver and two bronze medals at a recent global competition of vocational skills, which ended in Brazil on Saturday.

The silver was won by Nanyang Polytechnic student Daniel Lee for IT network systems administration.

The bronze medals were won by Ms Josephine Quek from Temasek Polytechnic in the visual merchandising category and Ms Lim Ling from Nanyang Polytechnic in the health and social care category.

Singapore, which fielded 22 young people at the WorldSkills contest held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, also picked up 14 medallions of excellence.

These results mean that most of the competitors from the polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) had attained high scores across most of the 20 trades that they took part in.

Singapore also saw improvements in four areas that had not done as well in previous years - electronics, visual merchandising, mechatronics and web design.

It was, though, the first time since 1995, when Singapore first joined the international WorldSkills competition, that we did not win a single gold medal.

Singapore's performance in areas which it has been traditionally strong in, such as health and social care and beauty therapy, also slipped this year.

ITE chief executive Bruce Poh said that the contest this year was tough because of increased competition as more countries come on board.

WorldSkills, which aims to promote vocational training and education, drew a record 1,200 young people this year from about 60 countries who competed in 50 skill areas.

It is organised by non-profit group WorldSkills International and is held every two years.

Cash prize

Mr Lee, who put up the best showing for Singapore, will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). In previous years, silver medallists received $5,000.

"I didn't expect to win because I made some small mistakes on the first day of the competition.

"I'm a little disappointed that I did not win gold for Singapore, but I did my best and I'm glad that I had this learning experience," said Mr Lee.

The WDA is sponsoring record prizes for the Singapore medallists this year to show its support for vocational education and training.

Those who won bronze medals will be getting $5,000, up from $3,000 previously.

This article was first published on August 18, 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.