For the first time in the history of Skills Canada PEI two competitors were part of Team Canada and competed at the 45th WorldSkills International competition in Kazan, Russia in August.
Justin Buchanan, a graduate of Holland College’s Video Game Art and Animation program, and Robbie McMahon, a graduate of the college’s Industrial Electrical Technology program, joined more than 1,300 competitors from around the globe.
“I work mostly on control panels for automation in factories,” says Robbie, who is a third-year Electrical Apprentice at Olympia Electric Ltd. in Charlottetown. “In competition, I did both manual wiring and software programming from beginning to end on one project.”
Robbie has participated in four provincial and two national competitions. “Competing is fun and looks good on a resumé. At WorldSkills, I learned what the international standards are in industrial electrical programming.”
Justin’s interest in art and animation started when GameForce PEI, an after-school program teaching video game design, visited his junior high school.
“I competed in provincials for all three years of high school and went to two nationals. I like that I am testing my skills and staying current.”
Justin was the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies in Russia. His specialty is 3D Digital Game Art, a new competition for Skills Canada PEI.
Chris Sharpley, Learning Manager of Holland College’s Video Game Art and Animation program, is a Canadian WorldSkills Expert in this field.
“I saw 3D Digital Game Art at the last competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and helped Skills Canada create this competition on the national and provincial levels. I saw the need for Canada to showcase its talent in 3D internationally.”
Sue LeFort is the Canadian WorldSkills Chief Expert in CNC Turning. “I am amazed at the technical level of our youth. From a skills perspective, I learn so much from the competitors when I am in the judging and leadership role.
“Everyone, including the competitors, trainers and experts, learn from each other, and learn new trends, digitalization and training that get results.
“The value that comes back from this competition to PEI will be huge for education, industry and the competitors’ career paths,” says Sue.
“These students and apprentices have worked countless hours preparing for competition,” said Tawna MacLeod, Executive Director of Skills Canada PEI.
“It’s a great testament to our volunteers, our education system, and the support from local industry. The competition was very stiff, and the entire team has done the Island proud.”
For information about Skills Canada PEI, visit www.skillscanada.pe.ca.
For information on programs at Holland College, visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs.