Ireland saves face thanks to mechatronic duo

8 May 2007

Ireland will compete for the first time in the World Skills competition, a technology skills contest for young people to be held in Japan later this year.

Ireland will be represented by two students from the Institute of Technology Sligo in the area of mechatronics.

Mechatronics is the area of computer-controlled automated manufacturing and will be the single largest discipline at World Skills 2007.

World Skills 2007, formerly known as the Skills Olympics, is an event that allows participating countries to showcase the technical abilities of their young people in areas important to economic development.

The number of mechatronics teams allowed in the contest from worldwide is only 30, Ireland being one of the lucky few to get through.

The two students, Kevin Moyna and Nigel Flynn, will have to complete a 16-week intensive training course before heading to Japan.

Training will involve traveling to different countries and competing with other teams in their discipline in order to size up their skills against the competition.

The competition is in its 39th year and will last over four days from 14-21 November 2007.

Over 850 young people from more than 45 member countries or regions will be tested in 47 core skills and technologies

Of the 47 categories are skills as diverse as web design, plumbing, stonemasonry, graphic design and automobile technology.

The last winner in the mechatronics category in the 38th Worlds Skills competition, held in Finland, was Japan.

By Marie Boran