WorldSkills was worth it, says local entrant

Top 10 placing for Kiwi Champion earns Medallion of Excellence

Nathan Champion, who travelled to the WorldSkills youth competition in Finland in May, says he's pleased at finishing sixth out of 20 in his field of IT — PC and Network Support.

Champion was one of two New Zealand IT contestants who entered the global trade skills contest and says meeting and networking with peers from around the world was invaluable.

"There were some really good competitors in my field — it was fantastic."

His result earned him a Medallion of Excellence at the four day contest, which he says was hard work.

"No one completed [all the tasks] on time — it was difficult more from a time point of view than a technical one."

Champion is studying for a Bachelor of International Communication at Unitec, which was a major sponsor of his entry in the contest.

The IT — PC and Network support section of the contest was divided between Cisco, Microsoft and Linux skills and Champion put to practice skills he acquired while working in IT support at Southern Cross Healthcare.

New Zealand's other entrant in IT, Auckland University of Technology finance and economics student Matthew Wales, finished 18th in the IT — Software Applications section.

The highest placed New Zealander at the contest was Benjamin McNaught, who won a silver medal in the car painting section.

New Zealand had 15 entrants in the contest, which attracted 650 competitors from 40 countries.

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