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October 8, 2014 2:40 PM

Leaders for skills training

A faculty member in Conestoga’s School of Engineering and Information Technology was recently chosen to serve as Canada’s expert for the Electronics competition at WorldSkills 2015, an international event that will bring together competitors from more than 60 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and Africa to determine the most highly skilled trades and technology students and apprentices in the world.

In this role, Professor Rudy Hofer will contribute to the training and assessment of Canada’s Electronics competitor for WorldSkills at a Canadian Trials event to be held early in 2015. He will also submit a potential project for use at the international competition to be held in Brazil in August 2015, where he will also serve as a judge and evaluate the competitors.

Hofer has been involved with Skills Canada since 1989, and served as a trainer for the WorldSkills competition held in Leipzig, Germany in 2013.

He believes that his involvement with the national and international competitions has resulted in direct benefits in the classroom and for his students as well.

“It is important to raise the skills of students and to learn what is going on in other places in the world,” Hofer said. “We can then transfer that knowledge back to our own countries and to students through teaching.”

In his new role, Hofer joins Conestoga faculty member Mark Bramer, who has served as Skills Canada’s expert for Cabinetmaking for 25 years, attending 12 international competitions. Elizabeth Stacey, faculty member in Information Technology, will also travel to the 2015 WorldSkills competition in Brazil as an expert in IT Office Software Applications.

Each year, Skills Canada hosts the country’s only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices. Those who achieve gold medals at the national level are eligible to represent Canada at WorldSkills. Three Conestoga students were awarded silver medals at the most recent competition, held in Toronto from June 4 to June 7, 2014.

The next Skills Canada national competition is scheduled for May 27 - 30, 2015 in Saskatoon.

Since 2009, five Conestoga students have been selected to represent Canada on the world stage. In 2013, Johnathan Black competed in Electronics and Dustin Sherrard competed in Cabinetmaking at the WorldSkills event in Leipzig. In 2011, Jonathan Sinke was awarded the bronze medal for Cabinetmaking at the WorldSkills competition held in London, England. Jud Tofflemire represented Canada in Electronics and Dan Van Holst competed in Automobile Technology at the WorldSkills competition held in Calgary in 2009.

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