What is Worldskills and What does Southern Group have to do with it?


Over its 60 year history, WorldSkills International (formerly known as the "Skill Olympics") has come to symbolise the pinnacle of excellence in vocational training. Every two years hundreds of young skilled people, accompanied by their teachers and trainers, gather together from around the world to compete before the public in the skills of their various trades and test themselves against demanding international standards. They represent the best of their peers drawn from regional and national skill competitions held currently in 51 countries/regions.


- From the worldskills website (www.worldskills.org)

Southern Group Training Trust has been involved in WorldSkills for a number of years.  Initially we encouraged our apprentices to enter the competition which in the early 2000’s was held in Dunedin for the Otago Southland Region.  To enable even more apprentices to compete Southern Group Training began organising a provincial competition in Invercargill to complement the competition being held in Dunedin.  A team to represent the Otago Southland Region at the New Zealand National WorldSkills Competition is selected from among the competitors at both the Otago and Southland WorldSkills competitions.


Staff members from Southern Group Training have been actively involved as competition coordinators and judges for various trade category competitions for both the Otago and Southland competitions with Steve Heywood judging automotive technology and Karen Hogh judging joinery at the New Zealand National WorldSkills competitions. 


After being Team Leader for the Otago Southland Team at the National Competition it was a natural progression to be asked to be one of the two Team Leaders for the 2009 New Zealand Tool Blacks who competed at the WorldSkills International Competition in Calgary in September.  Karen Hogh was selected as the New Zealand Skill Expert for carpentry.


In 2007 a team of 14 male competitors from the North Island represented New Zealand at the WorldSkills International Competition in Japan.  The 2009 Tool Blacks were made up of 17 competitors, male and female, from throughout New Zealand including one (Ben de Groot) from Southland and two (Daniel Malthus and Michael Lyon) from Otago.