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The National Skills Competition held in Vancouver on the weekend was “just another warm-up” for the automotive apprentice who will represent Canada at the upcoming WorldSkills Competition.
Twenty-one year-old Tyler Kenyon joined 28 of his fellow “Team Canada” members to get one last taste of competition before heading to Leipzig, Germany.
“It was more training for me,” he says. “I wasn’t representing a province, I was representing Team Canada.”
As such, he wasn’t eligible for awards. Those went to the 18 young men from all 10 provinces, as well as Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Winners in the post-secondary category were Adam Bochek of Ontario (gold), Aaron DeBoer of Manitoba (silver), and Jimmy Bowes of Nova Scotia (bronze). Secondary school winners were Etienne Trudel of Quebec (gold), Austin McWilliam of Ontario (silver), and Paul Pillipow of Manitoba (bronze).
All of the competitors were told they’d be competing alongside last year’s national winner, but that his scores wouldn’t count.
“I got to know a few of them,” says Kenyon. “I could see they were all a little worried and anxious, hoping to get gold.”
He says that from what he could see, they performed well in a stressful and difficult competition, made up of six competencies: manual transmission; engine mechanical; brakes; suspension; electrical system; and driveability.
Each competitor was tested twice at each station, with different problems to solve over two days.
It was old hat for Kenyon, who has been through the process several times, winning the Alberta provincial competition and last year’s nationals in Edmonton. This time around he was expecting to do well.
“I’ve had a whole year of practice,” he says. “I’m getting very familiar with how they make the competition and what I have to do to score points. It’s a whole year of getting into the competition mindset.”
The judges went up to him privately afterward and acknowledged that he’d scored highest. They also gave him notes on his performance as well as some ideas of where he might have to able to improve his skills at the 42nd WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, July 2-7.
Over 30 Canadian competitors will be participating in 32 different skilled trades against more than 1,000 competitors from 61 countries and regions around the world.
He’ll be traveling with his family later this month, and will stay in Europe for a little sightseeing after the competition.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
Kenyon has worked at his family’s J & E Motors in Wetaskiwin, Alta. since he was eight years old. Next year he’ll finish his apprenticeship and write the exam to earn his red seal certification.
You can see pictures from this year’s competiton HERE