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17 June 2009

ColombianSkills – SENA 2009: Colombian Talent Challenge

co_finalists_250.jpgBy Ivan H./Comunicaciones SENA, Digeneral

Bogotá, May 19, 2009
Along with jugglers, performers and acrobats, to the rhythm of drums and Colombian folk music, the first ever ColombianSkills began, in order to choose the best of SENA´s apprentices who will represent the country at WorldSkills Calgary 2009.

ColombianSkills is part of SENA´s leadership program that seeks the improvement of working competences and professional training standards for work at technological and technical level, and also the setting of SENA´s team of apprentices and experts who will represent Colombia at the 40th WorldSkills Competition.

The final team selection gathered 3,987 visitors at CORFERIAS, the International Centre of Businesses and Fairs in Bogotá, Colombia, to witness the best of SENA´s Colombian youth, competing for a place that would take them to the WorldSkills Competition, where they will be competing with other Member countries/regions of WorldSkills International.

co_mechatronics_250.jpg1500 apprentices from all around the country registered for the Colombian challenge which was divided in three stages, first a virtual theoretical test carried out in December 2008, the second one, a regional practical test and the third one in Bogotá, the national practical competition, where the eight apprentice teams going to WorldSkills Calgary 2009, was selected.

Full of dreams and expectations, 104 finalists, from all over the country, took the final test to get one of the eight places on the team going to Canada representing Colombia.

“To be part of this international Competition is just to show the tireless effort the institution carries out, where the most important thing is, these apprentices are really good, and they have previously won awards in order to be here. I wouldn´t be surprised whether one of these youngsters comes back with a prize out of WorldSkills”, said Dario Montoya, SEAN´s General Director at the opening of the Colombian Challenge, in Bogotá.

co_robotica_250.jpgIn the midst of forklifts, cooking tables, tomatoes, avocadoes, electrical equipment, computers, LCD screens, welding tanks, staff and experts, the finalists got their last instructions at the same time they were scrutinized by the experts who had to measure ability, speed, agility, wittyness, knowledge, creativity, and skills of the six categories they were competing in.

Companies and high education institutions came to watch the skills and abilities of the 104 apprentices and 18 experts that gave everything in the competition, showing off professionalism and knowledge in the six categories.

In the morning of the third day there was joy and sorrow when the judges handed out the list with the final scores calling out the best competitors in the different categories at the Colombian challenge.

“It was a big surprise and the competition was very hard, I was surprised when they called my name, I hope I can meet the expectations and show we want to do good things in Colombia”, said Steven Capote, an 18 years old apprentice who won first place in the category of IT/PC Network Support.

“The challenge was very hard, and the Mobile Robotics competitors were very strong, I thought I won just for a bit, therefore I need to study harder in order to perform well in Canada”, said, David Lizardo, an 18 years old apprentice who won in the Mobile Robotics category.

The Colombian Challenge had the support of Colombia es Pasión and the sponsorship of the private sector with companies such as FESTO, Kaesser, Lincoln Electric, Ingeniería Integrada, Colombian Chef, Nuevos Recursos, Olímpica, Industrial Casino and Telefonica Telecom.

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