Class Photo – Competitors in the WorldSkills Barbados 2020 Competition pose for a group photo with representatives of sponsors McBride Caribbean Ltd (left to right) Shaneal Bynoe and Makeba Oxley. (H. Reece/TVET Council Barbados)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–December 9th, 2020–Barbados Community College (BCC) student Tonquanja Giddings took top honors at the Closing/Awards Ceremony of the fifth, biennial WorldSkills Barbados (WSB) 2020 Competition, winning both the Gold Medal in Restaurant Service and the Best of Competition Award for the overall winner with her score of 92%.

The Best of Competition winner is the highest scoring finalist with a combined score from the Competitors Developmental Program (soft skills) and the skills competition (Test Project).

The WorldSkills Barbados 2020 Closing/Awards Ceremony took place last Tuesday, December 1st at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC). The finals of the WSB 2020 Competition took place November 19 – 22.

Twenty-two students representing four local training intuitions competed in six skill areas: Car Painting, Cooking, Fashion Technology, Graphic Design Technology, Hairdressing and Restaurant Service.

BCC student, Tonquanja Giddings, celebrates her WorldSkills Barbados 2020 Best of Competition win with her Restaurant Service coach, Cherise Osbourne. (H. Reece/TVET Council Barbados)

This year the competition was held at two venues with Cooking, Fashion Technology, Graphic Design Technology, Hairdressing and Restaurant Service taking place at the LESC while Car Painting took place at Simpson Motors November 21 – 22.

The four training institutions represented at this year’s competition included Barbados Community College (BCC), the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB), the Caribbean Cuisine Culinary Institute (CCCI) and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI).

The BCC’s Restaurant Service coach, Cherise Osbourne, took home the Best of Competition – Coach Award presented to the top performing coach.

During his delivery of the welcome remarks Executive Director of the TVET Council Henderson Eastmond announced the postponement of the 46th Biennial WorldSkills Competition which was scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China in September 2021. He said the international competition had been postponed until 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he pointed out that this allowed the TVET Council more time in which to prepare the team that will be selected to represent Barbados at the next WorldSkills Competition.

The WSB 2020 Competition was originally scheduled to take place in May of this year but was also postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four-day WorldSkills Barbados Competition is modelled on the international WorldSkills Competition which is the world’s largest technical and vocational skills contest.

WorldSkills is considered the global hub of skills excellence and promotes technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for young people in over 80 member countries and regions.

WorldSkills Barbados is coordinated by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, the government agency responsible for overseeing the national technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system.