Windhoek, Namibia | Xinhua | The second edition of WorldSkills Africa, underway in Namibia’s Swakopmund coastal town, is promoting skills development among the continent’s young populace.
The WorldSkills Africa competition 2022 programme focuses on collaborative mentorship between WorldSkills international and national experts and promoting inclusive design approaches.
For Euphrasia Mulenga, an aircraft and maintenance engineer from Zambia, attending the event creates a platform for exposure for young people who would otherwise have not been accorded a platform.
During a panel discussion, Mulenga, who had previously competed in World Skills Competition in 2017, said participation had transformed her outlook on the technical and vocational training trade.
“Specifically for me, it happened when I did not have a place in the industry, and I was just an apprentice. Getting exposed to other young people and their trade challenged me, and it awakened the passion in me,” she said.
Thriving in the field is also meant debunking stereotypes that technical and vocational field is for men.
“Also to show other women that it is doable. Technical and vocational education training is for everyone because everybody has a skill,” according to Mulenga.
Moreover, this year’s competitors see their participation as a key milestone in their careers and are happy to showcase their knowledge and upgrade their skills.
Ceajay Bosman from South Africa is one of the more than 100 competitors from 11 African countries competing in 16 different technical and vocational fields.
“For a recent task, we had to inspect the brake system and revamp it according to the instructions provided. I am learning a lot and hope to emerge victoriously,” he said.
The young Bosman hopes to maximise knowledge exchange on occupational standards in the automobile technology trade.
Chris Humphries, President of World Skills International, said that the competition also aims to address deficit areas.
“With its young population, Africa has the potential to be the powerhouse of tomorrow because the young population gives a motivated labour force. We need to make sure that the young people have access to relevant training,” he said.
The competition runs from March 28 to April 2.