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World Skills Competition – Bricklaying in KZN

Sunday, 02 April 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ernest Roper
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WorldSkills International has its origin in 1946 when Jose Olaso, then General Director of Spanish Youth Organisation saw the necessity to convince youth, their parents and teachers that their future depended on an effective vocational training system.

In 1947, with the participation of 4000 apprentices, the first National Competition took place in Spain.

In 1953, Germany, Great Britain, France, Morocco and Switzerland took part in the competition for the first time.

From 1999 to 2011, WorldSkills International saw tremendous growth. By 2010 its membership had grown to 53.

South Africa is a member of WorldSkills International and for the first time this year, Bricklaying was fielded in the South African National Competition.

Together with CIDB, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal and Othandweni Upliftment Centre, managed the National Bricklaying Competition which was held at the Durban ICC from 14 to 17 February 2017.

As a precursor to the National Competition, regional competitions were conducted, involving students from various TVET colleges. Five delegates met the criteria and were entered into the National Competition. Two hailed from KwaZulu-Natal, whilst Western Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo were represented by one competitor each.

The competitors were given two test projects to complete within 3 days.

·         The arch – 8 hours

·         The 2017 Wall – 16 hours (over two days)

Skills and knowledge tested

The test projects consisted of practical work including brick and block lying by respecting the indications on the plan/design (for cutting and detail). It included the construction of brick walls, arches, including decorative brickwork with projections and recesses in various bonds.

Technical skills tested were:

  • Read and interpret drawings
  • Measuring lengths
  • Determining the layout
  • Determining the gauge
  • Cutting brickwork
  • Levelling and plumbing
  • Making of corners
  • Building walls with brick in different bonds
  • Compliance with plans
  • Jointing according to required profile; and
  • Cleaning

The competitors were assessed on:

  • Dimensions
  • Level
  • Plumb
  • Alignment
  • Angles
  • Detail
  • Health and safety
  • Joint uniformity and finishing; and overall appearance and cleanliness.

In the final analysis, Mihle Mvelakubi was the Gold Medallist.

The 44th WorldSkills Competition will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates in October 2017.


Victor Smith | Training Manager

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