One of WorldSkills New Zealand’s pride is a Past Competitor, who has continued to give back to the organisation by volunteering his time and sharing his skills as a sparky: Luke Boustridge.
Luke first participated in WorldSkills as a Competitor, representing WorldSkills New Zealand (WSNZ) in the electrical installations skill category in WorldSkills Shizuoka (Japan) 2007, where he was awarded a Medallion of Excellence.
On his experience as a Competitor, he shares, “I did my apprenticeship through the NZ Army. Competing in the WorldSkills Competition was viewed as the perfect way for us to benchmark our skills and training against civilian trade training. For this reason, all NZDF apprentices were strongly encouraged to compete in the Regional WorldSkills Competition.
The main benefits for me from going through the training to become competitive on the world stage was that I had access to a lot more training resources and had a lot more time to hone my skills and knowledge of my trade. I believe that through this process I became a far more competent electrician than I would have been without these resources and time.”
He immediately took on volunteers role in WSNZ and WorldSkills International (WSI) afterwards. “I took on a role as Assistant Technical Delegate in 2009 and then served as New Zealand Electrical Expert and then Deputy World Chief Expert over the next three international competitions,” he said.
“I have kept involved with WorldSkills as an expert ever since I competed and this has ensured that our industry training in New Zealand has evolved and stayed current with international benchmarks and technology.”
With his help, WSNZ Competitors in electrical installations in WorldSkills Competitions in London 2011, Leipzig 2013, Sao Paulo 2015, and Abu Dhabi 2017 have consistently won medallions of excellence.
Luke’s success is also evident in his career as Special Projects Manager for the Electrical Training Company, which he gives credit to his experience in WorldSkills. “I can say with 100% certainty that competing in the WorldSkills Competition is the reason that I am where I am today. The company that I work for actively recruited me, because of my WorldSkills experience. The flow on effect is that I have spent the last 7 years working with apprentices, passing my skills and knowledge onto them. This has enabled industry training in New Zealand to benefit from the training knowledge and experience from a large number of countries around the world.”
In recognition of his skills, contributions, and leadership, Luke was elected International Chief Expert for the electrical installations skill category for WorldSkills Kazan 2019. The election, with voting from delegates from 40 countries, was held at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.
“It is a very big job and it is an honour to be elected with a consensus from your industry peers from 40 nations,” he said. “The World Chief Expert is responsible for organising the global team, who in turn organises the international competition for electrical contestants.”
With Luke at the helm, we know that the electrical installations skill competition in Kazan will be in very good, sparkly hands.