A three-day celebration of trades, skills, apprenticeships and careers
Worldskills Ireland saw thousands of visitors descend on the RDS, Simmonscourt, making it the biggest turnout for the skills, apprenticeships and careers event to date.
Taking place on the 13th – 15th March 2022 visitors to the show included eager students, parents, teachers and employers, who travelled to the event to take part in hands-on activities, listen to career advice, question industry peers and watch the country’s most talented apprentices and learners compete in National competitions.
With standing room only, the ‘Heroes Stage’ was a must visit with Industry leaders taking part in discussions and panel sessions on their inspiring real-life stories from those across multiple sectors. Head Chef at Pink Restaurant, Jennifer Walsh was joined on stage by TJ O’Connor, Fáilte Ireland to discuss ‘Catering for Ireland’s Future Workforce’. L’Oréal Colour Specialist, Mark Sherwood led an informative discussion on creative arts whilst Pat Tierney, Regional Director at SISK and Gareth McGrane, HR Director at Chadwicks discussed, ‘Building a Successful Career’.
Celebrating excellence within the industry, over 180 competitors took part in 32 national skills finals, ranging from carpentry to beauty treatments and aircraft maintenance to foodservice. Ray English, Worldskills Ireland Chair commented: “Worldskills Ireland was a showcase of the “best in class” not only in the foodservice sector but across many different disciplines. It was great to see all the national competitions gathered under one roof which will enhance Ireland’s ability to compete in Worldskills International finals, I want to congratulate all the participants and acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our students, sponsors and the supporting staff who have made this possible.”
The National Restaurant Service and Cookery competitions, supported by Chef Network and Bunzl, where a hotbed of talent. Young chefs cooked up a storm with Galway native Jordan Kielty Barrins taking the title of National Champion in Restaurant Service, a competition focused on the skills of fine dining, banqueting, casual dining, and bar/barista, with an emphasis on the importance of classic skills integrated with modern service skills.
In the Cookery category, competitors demonstrated their skill in performing multiple culinary tasks across a spectrum of disciplines with Jack Rice from Limerick, winning the title – National Cookery Skills Champion.
Craft Butchery, sponsored by Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) and Craft Butchers Association, was new for 2022 and Dominykas Palsys, from Co. Meath, was named the National champion.
Alan McCabe from Dundalk Institute of Technology and a Worldskills Chief Examiner comments: “I was amazed at the level of talent on display in the kitchen and the professionalism shown by all those competing across the three days. Jordan, Jack and Dominykas were very deserving winners, and this provides a great opportunity and platform for each of them to develop their skills and experience, I have every confidence that they each have a promising career ahead.”
Sean Martin, Sales Director, Bunzl added: “As a main sponsor for the National Restaurant Service and Cookery competitions at Worldskills Ireland it was inspiring to see the level of talent on offer and the passion shared by many of the young chefs.
“There can be nothing more empowering than a real face to face opportunity allowing students, parents and teachers to experience the realities that so many of our apprenticeships and skills can offer today.”
Over 15,000 visitors crowded Simmonscourt to watch the competitions and demonstrations, opening eyes to new third level options and career paths. With opportunities to meet career professionals and companies currently hiring apprentices, opportunities were endless with plenty of scope to ‘try a skill’ and seek inspiration about future career choices.
Throughout the three days visitors to the show could visit the 80+ exhibitors including many leading names in the private industry, public educational bodies, government departments and semi-state organisations.
Supported by industry partners, SISK, Designer Group, Construction Industry Federation, ESB Networks and Autodesk, and Education Partners including, The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS), The Higher Education Authority (HEA), SOLAS and NAO. Worldskills Ireland 2022 was an event showcasing all the trades, skills and career opportunities to Irish students.