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WIT Students at WorldSkills competition Abu Dhabi

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WIT well represented at WorldSkills competition (15-18 October 2017) in Abu DhabiWIT

Student competitors (Kilkenny, Wicklow and Kerry) and staff ‘experts’ from the School of Engineering and Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality are part of Team Ireland

Three of the 14 participants representing Ireland at the WorldSkills in Abu Dhabi this October have trained at WIT.

The trio are Gavin Lyne in the Automobile Technology category; David Donegan in Plumbing and Heating; and current student Kathlyn Leahy in Restaurant Service.

In addition two staff members are involved. The Head of the Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality at WIT, Ray Cullen is Deputy Chief Expert World Skills International: Restaurant Service.

Adrian Cunningham, Lecturer in Motor Mechanics in Department of Engineering Technology /School of Engineering will be one of 38 experts there to develop the assessments for the 37 competitors in the automobile technology competition. He will also be assessing some of the competitors.

The competition, which is the 44th WorldSkills Competition, will take place 15-18 October 2017. There will be 51 skill competitions from six skills sectors.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held at the du Arena on 14 and 19 October. Competitors from nearly 60 Member Countries and Regions will take part, and close to 1,300 competitors.

Automobile Technology

Gavin won the 2017 national skills competition in Cork in December 2016 and was selected to represent Ireland as part of a team of 14 competitors through an interview process. He then came to WIT to prepare for the WorldSkills, working with WIT lecturer Adrain Cunningham.

Cunningham, Lecturer in Motor Mechanics in the Department of Engineering Technology in WIT’s School of Engineering explains that “the assessments are generally designed so that only the sharpest and fastest of competitors will come close to finishing each module in the time given.”

Cunningham is one of 38 experts there to develop the assessments for the 37 competitors in the automobile technology competition, each from a different country. He will also be assessing and marking some of the competitors during the competition.

He explains what will be ahead of Gavin.

“Each competitor in the automobile technology competition, also known as skill 33, must complete eight two-hour modules. Each module testing the competitors on different skill areas such as engine rebuilding, diagnosing engine electrical and mechanical problems and body electrical issues, braking systems, steering and suspension systems, wheel alignment.”

Cunningham was a previous competitor at WorldSkills in Seoul, South Korea in 2001, finishing joint 4th. This is his first time to directly train a competitor and to be an expert at WorldSkills.

Plumbing and Heating – David Donegan

Dave attended WIT for phase 6 block in plumbing in late 2015. While attending he was picked to represent WIT in the National Skills Competition 2016 and finished in third place. The following year he again represented WIT and finished first and since been selected to represent Ireland this October in Abu Dhabi at the World Skills Competition.

“l am aiming to bring home the gold medal. l would like to thank the plumbing lecturers in WIT for giving me the opportunity to achieve my full potential. Jim Walsh, Frank Rushe, Ciaran Coady and all the support staff,” he says.

WIT lecturer Jim Walsh from plumbing had this to say: “David is a very pleasant young man hard working and not easily derailed from his thought process regarding whatever project or situation he is focused on.H e listens very well and takes on board direct and orders without any hesitation. He is very strong minded and independent and will excel in all he attempts. He is a credit to his family and they should be very proud of his achievements so far.”

Restaurant Service - Kathlyn Leahy

Kathlyn Leahy, a third year BA (Hons) Hospitality Management student has had a number of medal wins in the past year.

Commenting on the chance to master her skills and master her future she comments that the opportunity will impact what she does for the rest of her life. "I received an opportunity which I didn't know was so big at the time, if you asked me what I would be training for and competing for now when I was filling out my CAO I would have never known and to think that the opportunity could lead to a chance to represent Ireland I would have never believed it."

Previous WorldSkills achievements with WIT connections include:

2013: Fiona Cullen, a student of the Higher Diploma in Restaurant Management at WIT has finished in the world’s top six at the World Skills Restaurant Service competition held recently in Leipzig, Germany, winning a 4th place Medallion of Excellence.

2013: Ciaran Coady who won a gold medal for plumbing in the 2013 World Skills Competition in Leipzig Germany. Ciaran attended phase 4/6 in WIT and represented the Institute twice in the National Skills Competition in Dublin.

2015: Alina Sile won gold at the 2015 World Skills in San Paulo. Alina trained for the World Skills event at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) under the tutelage of Mr Ray Cullen, Head of the Department of Languages Tourism and Hospitality.


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