CHILE: Salesian institutions and students win awards in recent WorldSkills Competition
(MissionNewswire) Two students with the Don Bosco Institute of Punta Arenas in Chile received awards in this year’s WorldSkills competition. Jean Bravo won the prize in the auto mechanics competition and Gabriel Mansilla won first place in the competition for electrical installations. The Salesian Institute of Alameda won second place in the renewable energy category, third place in the IT networks and welding categories and fifth place in the electromechanical maintenance category.
WorldSkills is a non-governmental organization that brings together vocational training institutions worldwide to develop technical and educational exchanges among professionals in the sector. It seeks to improve technical skills for students by having them compete in the innovate international “Olympics” of technical-professional training.
Every two years WorldSkills holds the tournament to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and innovation among young professionals from different regions of the world, encouraging a climate of healthy sporting competition. This year’s competition brought together more than 230 youth from 80 educational institutions highlighting 22 different skill sets over the course of 26 competitions.
The young professionals who participate must not exceed 22 years of age, are selected by their respective countries and can participate only once in their lifetime. The best professionals in the tournament are awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals, similar to the Olympics, along with certificates of excellence.
This year’s event featured representatives from Brazil, Bonaire (municipalities of the Netherlands off Venezuela), Colombia, Guatemala, Chile, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Several Chilean Salesian schools also participated including Santo Domingo Savio of Alto Hospicio de Iquique, the Don Bosco Institute of Punta Arenas, the Salesian Educational Center of Talca and the Salesian Institute of Alameda in Santiago.
“We are honored to host the competition in Chile,” said Roberto Spada, president and executive director of WorldSkills Americas. “In the 44 years of work in the technical-professional education sector, I was able to visit many countries like Korea, Japan and Switzerland. I was able to learn that the greatest strength for social and economic transformation is education, especially technical and professional.”
According to the World Bank, Chile has a fairly low poverty rate of 14.4 percent. However, Chile struggles with high rates of income and education inequality.
Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social services to poor, at-risk youth. At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty. As a result of the vocational and technical education provided by Salesian programs, Chilean youth are more likely to find stable employment and improve their standard of living.
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World Bank – Chile