Young drywalling expert to compete in International WorldSkills competition

by Darren
Young drywalling expert

The winner of Saint-Gobain Gyproc’s local drywalling competition is set to compete in the International WorldSkills competition in Brazil in 2015.


Saint-Gobain Gyproc recently held a competition that set out to find the most proficient plastering and drywall systems applicator in South Africa. Skhumbuzo Nkosiyapanisi, a 19-year-old from KwaZulu-Natal, was announced as the winner after a four-day competition that took place at the company’s headquarters in Samrand.

Six finalists competed during 15-18 July in the hope to stand a chance to win the competition, with the main prize being a trip to Sao Paulo in Brazil to participate in WorldSkills International, which takes place in August 2015. As the winner, Nkosiyapanisi competed against young skilled people from all around the world, testing themselves against demanding international standards.

WorldSkills International, of which Saint-Gobain Gyproc is a proud partner, is an association that has been gathering young skilled people from all around the world. Their annual competition is considered to be the pinnacle event for showcasing world-class skills and abilities in trades, services and technologies. The association has a 60-year history and continues to recognise, motivate and educate young people.

Nkosiyapanisi was selected to enrol at the Saint-Gobain Academy in KwaZulu-Natal after the Green Building Council, with assistance from Saint-Gobain Gyproc, undertook an upliftment project in Cato Manor to repair dilapidated homes for the aged in the area.

Young school leavers from the area who didn’t have secure futures were selected, educated and trained in order to give them the skills that are needed to uplift their own communities by being able to repair homes and buildings.

“When I left school, I really didn’t know what I was going to do and ended up unemployed on the streets of Cato Manor,” explains Nkosiyapanisi.  

“When I was approached by a community leader to enrol at the Saint-Gobain Academy in KwaZulu-Natal to study for a national certificate in metal, engineering and manufacturing processes, I was so grateful for the opportunity. During the course I really loved drywalling, and when I finished my studies I found a job at a drywall construction company in Durban. When I heard about the competition I jumped at the chance to enter, which meant leaving my job, but that’s okay now because I have won and need to spend the time improving my skills before I go overseas to compete,” says Nkosiyapanisi, before adding that he is very grateful to Saint-Gobain Gyproc for the opportunity to travel overseas.

Nkosiyapanisi underwent rigorous training in order to prepare him for WorldSkills International. He also had to do physical training, seeing as the international competition will require four days of intense work.

Evan Lockhart-Barker, general manager for marketing at Saint-Gobain Gyproc, congratulated all the participants of the competition.
“We are committed to skills development and in identifying young talent in South Africa, affording them the opportunity to be recognised for outstanding achievement, providing motivation and knowledge that will encourage them to benchmark their skills in plastering and drywall systems applications against global standards,” said Lockhart-Barker.

The head of technical services at Saint-Gobain Gyproc South Africa, Atisha Gopichund-Lutchman, was recently appointed as chief deputy expert on the plastering/drywalling skill for the global WorldSkills International competition, so she will be accompanying Nkosiyapanisi to Brazil next year.

Saint-Gobain Gyproc
Tel: 011 873 2401
Fax: 011 873 9480
Website: www.saint-gobain.co.za

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