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A battle of skills

June 11, 2017

Female empowerment

Female empowerment:  Jessica Wong, 21, will be the first woman to represent Hong Kong in the plumbing and heating section of the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in October.
 

Diligent groundwork

Diligent groundwork:  Instructor Dickens Tang says he is confident Wong will be a strong contender as she has trained for nine hours a day in recent months.

 

Craftsmanship test

Craftsmanship test:  Chan Siu-lam, 22, will be tasked with installing light bulbs, lighting circuits, curtains and sockets in the competition's electrical installations section.
 

Public participation

Public participation:  As part of the Hong Kong competition, visitors can try their hand at skill-focused activities, including assembling a mini solar car, and vegetable and fruit carving.
 

The WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition & Carnival 2017 is the largest skills event in the city.

 

Young contestants from 16 countries and regions will showcase their expertise in 12 categories of the competition to be held this month.

 

Hong Kong representatives Jessica Wong and Chan Siu-lam will compete in the plumbing and heating, and the electrical installations sections.

 

The contest will gear up challengers for a global tournament in Abu Dhabi.

 

Breaking through barriers

Twenty-one-year-old Jessica Wong will be the first woman to represent Hong Kong in the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi from October 14 to 19.

 

Wong, who studied plumbing and pipe-fitting at the Construction Industry Council, will compete in the plumbing and heating section.

 

Contenders will demonstrate their skills installing plumbing and heating pipework with different materials.

 

Wong said steel, aluminium-cored polyurethane and stainless steel are usually used. 

 

"Judges are looking for accuracy and attention to detail in every step. For example, the deviation of connecting the pipes can only be one degree. For spacing, there is only room for 4mm of error."

 

The Hong Kong competition will see contestants from Canada, France, Russia and China competing with Wong on her home turf.

 

Nurturing talent

Heating and plumbing is generally a male-dominated industry. But Wong’s instructor from the Construction Industry Council Dickens Tang believes gender does not affect performance.

 

His protege has trained for nine hours a day in recent months and Mr Tang is confident she will be a strong contender.

 

"Although she is not the most physically-strong competitor, she works carefully and accurately. This is to her advantage. Practice makes perfect."

 

Wong believes participating in the event will be an invaluable experience, regardless of her final ranking.

 

"I don’t know if I will win a medal or not. But I will keep improving and that is what’s most important. I hope I can perform as well as the other foreign players. I think we are at a similar level."

 

The Hong Kong competition, held from June 16 to 17, will see young contestants from 16 countries and regions showcase their skills under 12 categories: plumbing and heating, beauty therapy, visual merchandising, mobile robotics, joinery, mechatronics, cooking, bricklaying, painting and decorating, wall tiling, IT software solutions for business and electrical installations.

 

Homegrown expertise

Twenty-two-year-old Chan Siu-lam will compete in the electrical installations section.

 

His tasks include installing light bulbs, lighting circuits, curtains and sockets under a limited time period.

 

He will also need to input commands to operate the installations.

 

"The programme can control the lighting system, air-conditioner and curtains. For example, you can press one button to turn off all the lights and air-conditioner. The curtains will also close automatically. This will be a challenge for me as I am not familiar with writing programmes."

 

After graduating from secondary school, Chan joined a training scheme under the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department.

 

As a technician trainee, he is responsible for mechanical and electrical inspection and maintenance work for government buildings. He followed in the footsteps of his father and brother who also work for the department.

 

Chan’s passion is making safe electrical appliances. He hopes to win the Hong Kong competition and perform well in Abu Dhabi.

 

"We will compete in Hong Kong, my hometown. As I am familiar with the venue, I will feel less nervous and will perform better. My target is to finish the tasks on time and complete the programming exercise. I hope to achieve excellent results in the international event later this year."

 

Citywide celebration

To promote Hong Kong’s hosting of the competition, more than 30 activities will take place at the Convention & Exhibition Centre.

 

Visitors can try their hand at several skills, including assembling a mini solar car, and vegetable and fruit carving.

 

The tournament is organised by the Vocational Training Council, the Construction Industry Council and the Clothing Industry Training Authority, and supported by the Education Bureau.

 

The event is one of the celebration activities for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.



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