world skills colombia

World Skills Preparation



submit shape (2) master (2)
event strength endurance
relieve tension target (2)
among represent discipline (2)
utmost precision in advance
tip-top ahead (2) working against the clock
circuit passion match (2)
feat combine I see it as
range analyze pressure (2)
rank scale (3) workshop (2)
intent alleviate small scale
eatery head off contestant
source block (2) clear their minds
proud part of countdown
able toil away anything but
toil trainee participant
pride integral responsibility
select at first live music
pipe mounting fingers crossed
fellow after all





These students from the technical school in Bogota are getting their bodies into tip-top shape: they’re preparing for the 42nd World Skills Competition.

Christian Vergara is a science student. He’ll be among Colombia’s representatives at the event in Liepzig, Germany. He spent months preparing for the event.

“We do a lot of sports. We have an hour of endurance training plus an hour of weight training to strengthen our bodies to relieve tension.”

The eighteen-year-old, who wants to be a polymechanic, also does sports outside school. He has one target in his sights: to be among the best in his discipline in Liepzig. That will mean mastering both his college subjects with the utmost precision: mechanics and electronics.

He has to submit ten finished work pieces in advance. And then make a further ten in Liepzig while working against the clock.

Christian’s already won Colombia’s national contest. The pressure he’s feeling ahead of the competition is matched by the passion he has for his profession.

“I started going to workshops when I was a young boy. And I really enjoyed working with the machines. I wanted to train for this job because I see it as an art.”

Combining mechanics and electronics is no easy feat. At college he also has a range of tutors to train and advise him on the technical and personal front.

Team Colombia are intent on ranking among the best at the World Skills Competition.

Computer systems design is another field they have high hopes in.

Christian is now getting a briefing with his electronics expert on analyzing complex circuits. The aim is for him to build his own small scale machine. But learning is only part of the training.

“It’s good to exchange ideas,” says Julio Rojas, a robotics expert. “Have coffee. Go to lunch with them. We also talk about other things, including personal issues. The time we spend together helps alleviate stress.”

For lunch they sometimes head off the campus to an eatery a few blocks away. The walk alone helps the contestants clear their minds. They’re joined, as always, by their instructors. They’re an integral part of the team, after all.

The lunch is anything but a light one, with plenty of meat, as is typical in Colombia. The live music is also a welcome source of relaxation.

Daniel Perez, another participant in the World Skills Competition, is unable to make it to lunch. He’s been toiling away at his computer since seven in the morning for an exam later in the day.

“There’s a lot of pride, but even more responsibility. In the national contest, I was selected from a field of 17 competitors. At first I didn’t think I could win. Now I’m feeling the responsibility.”

Meanwhile another Team Colombia trainee is learning how to lay cooling pipes. The countdown to the big event in the first week of July is now on.

And the excitement is mounting.

Everyone at the college here has their fingers crossed for their fellow students representing Colombia.

For most contestants, the World Skills Competition will mark their first trip to Europe. And they want to be in the best possible shape.

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1. The students are exercising and training for the Olympics. True or false?

2. Who is Christian Vergara? What is his goal (aim, target)? What does he want?

3. For Christian, mechanics and electronics is laborious, tedious and grueling work. Yes or no?

4. What does Christian have to do for his project or assignment? He has to….

5. Are the students only colleagues? Do they only work together?

6. They are vegetarians. Is this correct or wrong?

7. Daniel came to lunch with this friends. Is this right or wrong? Why didn’t Daniel come to lunch with the others?

8. What fields do the students specialize in? They specialize in…….

A. My friends and I have studied or taken courses in mechanics, electronics, computers, robotics or other technical subjects. Yes or no?

B. Are technical subjects and jobs becoming more complex and specialized?

C. Skilled technical workers earn more than university graduates who studied liberal arts ( history, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology ). What do you think?

D. There is a big demand for engineers and skilled technicians in my city. Yes or no? There are too many university graduates and not enough skilled, technical workers. Do you agree?

E. Skilled, technical workers are highly respected. What do you think?

F. What will happen in the future?


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