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Okanagan College students get gold in Skills BC competition
Okanagan College Media Release

SkillsBC 2013Two Okanagan College students are on their way to the Skills Canada National Competition following their gold medal wins at the provincial competition held in Abbotsford April 17.

Brandon Scott, who has completed his Level 3 Motor Vehicle Body Repairer Apprenticeship, won in the Collision Repair category while Electronic Engineering Technology student Nathanael Bergmann won in the Electronics category.

The two 21-year-olds were among 10 Okanagan College students who took gold, bronze and silver at the competition. Other institutions taking part included Vancouver Island University, BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Vancouver Community College.

Okanagan College Collision Repair Department Chair, and Scott’s instructor, Jeff Francis coached Scott through the competition, which required him to repair a badly damaged fender panel, among other tasks.

“It took seven hours,” said Scott. “It was stressful.”

“Brandon is very methodical, and at the end of the day being fussy and methodical is going to get you good results,” Francis said. “Time management plays a big role too.”

Francis said Scott’s win is already attracting interest from Kelowna-area body shops.

“They’re asking me for his phone number,” said Francis, noting that the College frequently posts strong results in Collision Repair, having racked up 10 BC gold medals and five national gold medals since 2000.

For Bergmann, the competition required him to repair two circuit boards. Last year he took silver at the provincials, but said this year the competition was far tougher with more demands placed on the students to get work done in a specified period of time.

The win was a great way to end his semester at the College. In a matter of weeks Bergmann will be starting up his new job at an appliance company where he can apply his skills in the service area.

In addition to the provincial gold medals, Okanagan College students placed as follows:

Silver
Matt Bray – IT – Network & Telecommunications Engineering
Maxime Messier – Welding Level B
Nick Spottock – Automotive Service Technician
Nathan Vallance – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License
James Webber – Electronic Engineering Technology

Bronze
Corey Cooper – Automotive Service Technician
Nicholas Langis – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License
Steven Perry – Electronic Engineering Technology

“The students all represented the College very well,” said Dianne Holm, the regional skills co-ordinator on behalf of Okanagan College. “Their work ethic was outstanding and through all the stress of their competitions, they kept their wits and sense of humour intact.”

The National Skills Canada competition attracts more than 500 competitors who compete in 40 contest areas, each vying for a chance at a coveted gold medal. The program was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.