'This was our show': Sheridan proud of WorldSkills event at Magna Skilled Trades Centre
Since leading the charge for Industrial Mechanics (IM) to be added to WorldSkills in 2015, Craig Brazil has overseen competitions in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and South America.
But the veteran Sheridan millwrighting professor’s favourite experience supporting the “Olympics of skills” might be the one that took place in his home country.
“This is the proudest I’ve been of anything I’ve done in my skills competition journey,” Brazil says of the recently-concluded WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition’s IM event, which took place in the Magna Skilled Trades Centre at Sheridan’s Davis Campus. “It even supersedes helping get this competition added to WorldSkills, because this was in our house. This was our show.”
And that show was met with rave reviews from skilled trades experts and officials from across the world, many of whom were pleasantly surprised by how smoothly and professionally the competition ran. WorldSkills normally contests all of its events in one host country, but when WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 was postponed due to pandemic prevention and control restrictions, the organization created the 2022 Special Edition that saw 62 skills contested across 15 countries and regions. Sheridan was the only Canadian location to host an event and one of two in North America.
WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition — Industrial Mechanics
Sheridan millwrighting professor and WorldSkills Industrial Mechanics competition manager Craig Brazil displays a medal of appreciation he received from WorldSkills. Pictured with Brazil are Skills Canada CEO Shaun Thorson (left) and WorldSkills Museum Curator Hamida Ghafour. Sheridan lab technicians Davide Trani (WorldSkills Workshop Manager) and Roman Motyka (WorldSkills Technical Manager) also received medals of appreciation. "It was a nice touch to be recognized in front of the group like that," says Brazil, noting that Magna School of Skilled Trades Electrical Technologist David Bradley also performed "yeoman's work" supporting the competition.
Sheridan graduate Ron Currell (second from right) stands next to a drill press he built nearly 50 years ago as a student and recently donated to the Magna Skilled Trades Centre. Pictured with Currell are (from left) Unifor Skilled Trades National Executive Board member Ken Anderson; Magna School for the Skilled Trades Associate Dean Greg Royal; Unifor Skilled Trades National Director John Breslin; Unifor Skilled Trades National Representative Phil Fryer; and Unifor Skilled Trades National Executive Board member Paul Renaud.
Event medallists proudly display the flags of their home countries following the medal presentation ceremonies. Pictured are (from left) gold medallist Sota Morimoto of Japan; silver medallist Lukas Schwarzler of Austria; and bronze medallists Hyeonsu Lee of Korea and Gil Beutler of Switzerland.
Principality of Liechtenstein competitor Stefan Zeiler works on a module.
Sheridan Provost and Vice-President, Academic Carol Altilia (centre) holds the collection of replica WorldSkills medals that Sheridan received for hosting the Industrial Mechanics event. Pictured with Altilia are Skills Canada CEO Shaun Thorson (left) and WorldSkills Museum Curator Hamida Ghafour.
Event champion Sota Morimoto of Japan uses a metal grinder.
Faculty of Applied Science & Technology Manager of Planning & Projects Sarah Deazevedo (centre), pictured with FAST Marketing, Events & Information Specialist Kristen Doopan (left) and FAST Digital Content Specialist Dominique Rivera, says working collaboratively with WorldSkills, Skills Canada and Skills Ontario was a tremendous learning experience for her and her team. “It normally takes two to four years of planning to host an event like this, and we were able to put it together in three months,” she says. “It was extremely satisfying to help provide this opportunity for students to compete at the world level, and to also show future students that experiences like this can be within their grasp.”
Faculty of Applied Science & Technology Dean Lindsay Engel wears the replica gold, silver and bronze medals Sheridan received for hosting the Industrial Mechanics event.
A bedplate machine shaft support that competitors created during the fabricating, welding, precision layout and mechanical assembly module. The project was left at Magna Skilled Trades Centre for use by Sheridan apprentices for many years to come, since it meets four different sets of the Industrial Mechanics Millwright guidelines for Level 2 apprentices: mechanical assembly, bearings, tube ending and component leveling/alignment.
Members of Provincial Parliament welcome WorldSkills Industrial Mechanics competitors during the event's opening ceremonies.
Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop (second from left) and fellow MPPs (from left) Graham McGregor, Natalie Pierre, Deepak Anand, Natalia Kusendova, Sheref Sabawy and Charmaine Williams attended the event's opening ceremonies.
Magna Director of Apprenticeship and Training Steve Henry, a graduate of Sheridan's Tool and Die program, delivers a speech during the closing dinner that Magna sponsored.
A student from Brampton's Fletcher's Creek Senior Public School simulates a welding activity in the Skills Ontario Trades & Tech Truck that visited Davis Campus during the competition.
A student from Brampton's Fletcher's Creek Senior Public School interacts with a Sheridan employee during a tour of the Magna Skilled Trades Centre.
“I’d sent pictures of our venue to each country’s IM expert in advance, but things always look very different in person. The best way to put it is that they all said Magna Skilled Trades Centre was way bigger than they thought it would be and way better than they thought it would be,” Brazil says. “Hosting a WorldSkills event is such a big undertaking, and people were amazed that we and Skills Canada were able to put this competition together in just three months. We couldn’t have achieved this if everyone wasn’t pulling in the same direction.”
The competition itself was extremely close. Sota Morimoto of Japan claimed gold with 727 points, seven ahead of silver medallist Lukas Schwarzler of Austria. Korea’s Hyeonsu Lee (717 points) and Switzerland’s Gil Beutler (716) earned bronze medals, while Zong-Han Lin of Chinese Taipei (700) received a Medallion of Excellence. “When I look at the final scores and the way the projects were designed, I’m very happy,” Brazil says, referring to the four modules competitors were asked to complete over a three-day span. “I know it was a very fair competition.”
“I was energized by the competition's many facets — from the competitors' amazing skillsets to the teamwork and camaraderie among all those who were able to take part.”– Steve Henry, Magna Director of Apprenticeship and Training
Other highlights of the week-long event included Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop and six other MPPs attending the opening ceremonies and reception sponsored by Unifor; a trip to Niagara Region for competitors, sponsored by Unifor BHMO Skilled Trades Council; opportunities to connect with industry partners and alumni; students of Brampton senior elementary school Fletcher's Creek touring Magna Skilled Trades Centre and the Skills Ontario Trades & Tech Truck; and a closing dinner sponsored by Magna prior to the medal presentations.
“I was energized by the competition’s many facets — from the competitors’ amazing skillsets to the teamwork and camaraderie among all those who were able to take part, including judges, coaches and team members of each nation represented,” said Magna Director of Apprenticeship and Training Steve Henry, who graduated from Sheridan’s Tool and Die Maker program in 2000.
“This fall has been a very busy time for everyone, but I hope the tears of joy shed by competitors at the closing ceremonies helped compensate for all the hard work put forward by multiple teams,” added Sheridan Faculty of Applied Science & Technology Dean Lindsay Engel.
“We are exceptionally proud of the event.”
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