MEDICINE HAT, AB — Two journeymen apprentices who received training at Medicine Hat college are vying to earn their place on Team Canada for an international trade competition.
Justin Fisher, a journeyman plumber, and Tanner Tendler, a journeyman heavy equipment technician, are completing WorldSkills Canadian Trials at the college, with the goal of earning the score which will secure them a spot on Team Canada for the WorldSkills Championships in Abu Dhabi on October 14-19.
“It would be a very good experience to get to that point,” said Fisher, who is originally from Picture Butte. “It's where my goals are set at, so it would be nice to fulfil them.”
“I'm pretty hopeful,” said Tendler, who calls Medicine Hat home. “I think it's going to happen. I just need to buckle down and keep moving forward.”
Fisher and Tendler, who both trained at Medicine Hat College, are completing trials and challenges related to their professions, while receiving feedback and being judged by experts in their respective fields. The two journeymen need to hit the median score at the 2015 WorldSkills Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil in order to qualify for the team. For Fisher, he needs to earn at least a 73 per cent for plumbing, while Tendler must earn a 77 per cent minimum score for heavy equipment.
Fisher's trial involves setting up the plumbing for a home bathroom, including setting up the fixtures properly. His final task on Tuesday is installing a toilet with customer present to simulate a call.
“They're just so precise here, that you have tobe ready for a new level,” he said. “Your measurements can't be out at all.”
Tendler is tasked with diagnosing problems with several pieces of heavy equipment and semi-trucks.
“It's pretty stressful,” he said. “It takes its toll on a person, but you have to go home at the end of the day, calm down and just regroup for the next day and take whatever they throw at you.”
Gord King, provincial contest coordinator with WorldSkills Canada, said Fisher and Tendler both qualified for a spot on Team Canada because they earned medals at national events, and they each get a year to train to ensure they're ready for the world competition. This week's trial serves as a qualifier to ensure they are taking the competition seriously and are ready for the world stage.
“We try to align it as close to the worlds (as possible),” he said, noting Fisher's project was a recreation of the project plumbers had to complete in Sao Paulo.
Both Tendler and Fisher say taking part in the competition has benefits for their careers.
“All the training experience I get from the guys at the college here, it's given me a lot of extra one-on-one time and help to improve my skills,” said Tendler.
“There's a lot of math involved, and you're learning all the fittings exactly,” said Fisher. “It kind of speeds you up for a real day of work.
“You're a little bit quicker on the math, and on everything, you try and be more prepared now.”
The trials continue until Tuesday, with results known by the end of the week.
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