What's Happening
Published on May 19, 2014 by admin


The finale of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2016 will be centre-stage at BMEX 2016. The halls of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre will be buzzing as a cadre of our nation’s talented and highly motivated young people pull out all the stops to demonstrate to Barbados that they are the best budding talent in 2016 in their chosen fields. The preparation process for these young people has been intense, the drive is high and they have been demonstrating skills and expertise way beyond their years.

 The vision of WorldSkills, the governing body for the competition is to showcase the importance of skills by recognising young skilled professionals around the world through several activities. The WorldSkills Competition is its flagship event which promotes world class standards and introduces youth to over 45 skilled areas including Cabinetmaking, Web Design, Automotive Technology, Mechatronics, Hairdressing and Welding. Competitions are held in over 75 member countries and there are also regional and international competitions.

Four of this year’s finalists are Rashida Price, Shawn Marshall, Terrel Derrick and Samara Hippolyte; representing skill areas which include Hairdressing, Automotive Technology, Garment Making and Culinary Arts

Samara who will be competing in the Garment Making arena has loved sewing and garment making for as long as she can remember. Her earliest memories are those of sitting on her grandmother’s lap as she made various garments; and this is where both her exposure and her love for this art began. Obviously too young to actually use the machine, young Samara started stitching paper by hand which inevitably led to stitching clothing for her dolls.  At the age of eight, she always wanted to be around her grandmother in anticipation of watching her create another garment. The passion never faded, but rather grew stronger and this led to her making skirts for herself.  According to her, it was quickly recognised that she was good at what she was doing and this led to the choice in 3rd form at secondary school of pursing Clothing and Textile at the CXC level. What stood out most was the fact that although she did not have a lot of experience at that time the talent was visible and worthy of encouragement. Her current goal is to pursue Fashion and we believe she is off to a very good start.

Competing in the Auto Mechanics section is Shawn Marshall who started to develop a keen interest in the discipline around the age of 14. His initial path was following in the footsteps of his father and so whenever his dad was fixing a vehicle, Shawn could be found close by.  Back then his biggest contribution to the project was passing the spanners, however today he brags that at times he is now fixing vehicles and his father is nowhere around. Watching and learning as his dad plied his trade, coupled with a keen interest in car racing video games and national rallies, the writing was definitely on the wall as to how this young man would move forward. His vision is to open his own his own business but the road he needs to take to develop the expertise to be the best is clear for him and he definitely seems ready and willing to put in the work.  His dad is very proud of the progress Shawn has been making.

From age 8 to 18, Rashida’s passion has been hair and cosmetology. The primary influence in her life was her aunt whom she watched for countless hours in admiration and wonder; and who ultimately provided the launching pad for her to pursue this area. “I would spend a lot of time watching my aunt and as I got older I would experiment with my dolls. Every birthday my request would be for a bust doll with only a head, so I could practice different styles on the hair; and every year my prayer was answered.  By age 9 I was braiding hair for free and this developed through the years to relaxers, weave application, dying and so much more, I was keen to learn and there was no stopping me. My interest is not just in styling but I want to learn as much as I can about the science and health of hair; knowing and understanding products and treatments which are best suited for the type of hair.  For me it is not just about applying a chemical and styling, there is a whole educational process and I am determined to be the best that I can be.

Budding Chef and culinary artist Terrel Derrick will demonstrate his skill and passion for food in the Culinary Arts competition.  Over the past 4 years he has been on a mission to prove that he can do more than just cook; that he can be a world class chef. While he credits his mother with getting him into the kitchen, the determination to excel has been all his. At this point in time the area he finds most intriguing is hot sides which allow him to develop a range of sauces. His dream is to travel internationally and to be exposed to different food genres.  He knows that the road ahead may be long and arduous but if he could live out his dream of opening a chain of restaurants, it would be all well worth it.

These are but a snapshot of some of the finalists and there are many more.

Barbados became an associate member of WorldSkills in 2011 becoming the second English-speaking member. Jamaica has been a full member since 2002. The first WorldSkills Barbados Competition was held in 2012. Barbados went on to participate in the second WorldSkills Americas in November 2012. When Barbados becomes a full member, winners of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition will receive the opportunity to participate in the international WorldSkills Competition.

The main objectives of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition are to promote excellence in skills development and improve the performance standards of the workforce; to increase the self-esteem of the participants and inspire more young people to be enterprising in their careers, as well as challenging young people, their teachers, trainers and employers to achieve world class standards of competence in commerce, services and industry.

Look out for the Worldskills Barbados Competition at BMEX 2016.

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