Around 60 participants are taking part in the skills competition

Skills: Dawa Choden, 24, has come all the way from the Chumey Institute of Civil Engineering in Bumthang to showcase her skills at an ongoing skills competition at the Technical Training Institute in Khuruthang, Punakha.

She is competing with 59 other participants from various training institutes across the country at the three-day skills competition themed, “Towards World Skills Competition”.

The participants were competing in six categories of critical occupations like stone masonry (dozop), brick and tile laying, electrical (domestic house wiring), cabinet making, lhadri and welding.

Initiated in 2003 by the then National Technical Training Authority, this year marks 13th skills competition.

Labor officials said competitors will be evaluated based on the process and product, quality of work, time, occupational health and safety and economic use of materials.

Dawa Choden and nine others from the Chumey Institute of Civil Engineering in Bumthang and the Dekiling Technical Training Institute in Sarpang will display their skills in constructing walls using bricks and tile laying.

Dawa said she is making an L-shaped wall using bricks and tiles.

Kezang Chophel, another student and competitor, said he is hopeful of winning but there will be stiff  competition. If he is able to win the competition, he may also get the chance to showcase his skills at an international competition which will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The officiating chief program officer Wangda Dorji, said the successful candidates in each of the six trades would receive awards, cash prizes and certificates. The top three winners will receive a cash prize of Nu 50,000, Nu 30,000 and Nu 20,000 respectively. The winners will also receive tools (Gedore).

He said the competition is costing an estimated Nu 1.7 million, which includes travel, food and daily subsistence allowances, cost for tools, materials and other logistical and infrastructural costs.

Wangda Dorji said the primary objective of the skills competition is to promote the image and status of skilled workers in the country, to showcase and celebrate the technical and vocational skills of the youth and to raise the standards of excellence in technical and vocational skills.

He said the objective is also to promote collaborative efforts between technical and vocational education training institutes, industry and relevant government agencies and to update skilled workers with emerging technologies in different occupations. The competition is also being held to prepare for possible participation in regional and international level skills competitions in the future.

Labour minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo attended the opening of the skills competition yesterday.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha