Taiwan college student takes gold in vocational skills contest

A Taiwanese student won a gold medal in the first leg of the 2022 WorldSkills Competition in the Swiss capital Bern on Sunday, defeating industry professionals in the Prototype Modelling competition.

Under the Chinese Taipei banner, Taiwanese college student Lei Feng-yue (雷豐嶽) competed against five other contestants from South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand and India in the first event of the WorldSkills Competition, which was held Sept. 7-10 at the Bernexpo exhibition center in Bern.

Lei won the gold medal in the Prototype Modelling competition on Sunday with a total of 731 points, beating silver medal winner Rio Mizutsuki of Japan who had 710 points, according to the biennial event’s official website.

Likithkumar Yemmedoddi Prakash of India and Chanhui Lee of South Korea shared the bronze medal with 701 points and 699 points, respectively.

“I’m just a student who threw himself into the world of vocational skills,” the 23-year old National Taiwan University of Science and Technology freshman said about competing against industry professionals such as Mizutsuki who works for Toyota and Lee who is employed by Samsung.

“Prior to the competition, I thought I didn’t stand a chance against them,” he said.

The Ministry of Labor’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) announced Lei’s achievement in a statement on Monday, in which it said Taiwan’s diplomatic mission to Bern delivered congratulatory messages from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) to Lei at Sunday’s award ceremony.

As the only person from Taiwan to participate in the Bern round of the international vocational skills competition, Lei said he was happy and proud to be able to win a gold medal.

A Gundam figurine fanatic and war tanks model aficionado, Lei decided to pursue a vocational career working with his hands, engineering and designing products, according to the WDA statement.

Lei has also previously taken part in Taiwan’s annual Skills Competition on four separate occasions.

On the experience of competing internationally, Lei said it was extremely stressful as he only had three days to showcase his presentation.

He was forced to quickly adjust to the much shorter time frame, because prior to Bern, he had three years between the prep and preliminary rounds before being shortlisted for the 2022 competition, Lei said.

The 46th edition of the World Skill Competition was scheduled to be held in Shanghai, China, from Oct. 12 to 17, but the event had to be moved away from the city due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and China’s strict pandemic prevention measures.

Instead of holding the competition in Shanghai, the organizers decided to spread the 62 skills competitions to 15 countries and regions over a 12-week period, with the Prototype Modelling competition being held in Bern to kickoff the 2022 event.

The special edition will feature more than 1,000 contestants competing in the different events, including 57 people from Taiwan, and runs from Sept. 7 to Nov. 26.



Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel