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Kilnamona plasterer hopes to clean up in Leipzig

PLASTERER Michael Barry from Kilnamona is hoping to scoop a big win for Ireland at the WorldSkills Competition taking place in Leipzig in Germany in July.
Michael, who turns 22 this week, is part of an Irish team of apprentices from around the country competing for the prestigious world title in their chosen craft.

He will fly out to Germany on Saturday for the competition, which will run from July 2 to 7.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve never been to Germany before. All the training has been done now so I can’t do any more at this stage but hopefully. I have a good chance of doing well,” he said.

The Irish WorldSkills team will be pitted against apprentices from around the globe in a range of skills including cookery, brick laying, aircraft maintenance, painting and decorating, carpentry and plastering among others.

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the WorldSkills Competition in Germany next month and Michael will be among 1,006 apprentices from around the world competing for a range of prestigious world titles.

Gyproc, the biggest supplier of plaster and plasterboard to the Irish construction industry and part of Saint-Gobain, is supporting Michael as he competes for the title of world champion plasterer.

“Despite the economic downturn and the difficulties facing young apprentices in Ireland, WorldSkills is an opportunity to showcase the high level of skill that still exists within Ireland. Ireland has won in this category twice in 2007 and 2011 and we have high hopes for Michael this year,” commented Dean O’Sullivan, sales and marketing director, Gyproc.

The WorldSkills Competition was established with the aim of challenging apprentices to achieve world-class standards and competencies in commerce, services and industry.

In 1959, the first Irish team competed in the WorldSkills Competition. These competitions are held every second year and attracts entries from the major industrialised countries, a fact which highlights the importance attributed to maintaining a highly skilled workforce in these countries.

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