Taves returns with Medallion of Excellence
Skills Canada Alberta’s Aaron Taves returned from the World Skills International competition in Abu Dhabi with a Medallion of Excellence after finishing 11 out of 37. File Photo/ Camrose Canadian
Aaron Taves proved he is among the best mechanics in the world at the World Skills competition in Abu Dhabi.
The Camrose native finished 11 out of 37 mechanics 21-and-under from around the world earning a Medallion of Excellence for finishing in the top third at the competition that finished up on Oct. 18.
It was a bit of a stacked field to crack the podium. The top five consisted of two competitors from China, one from Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Taves says they approach the competition a little bit differently than most of the rest of the world.
“I’m very happy with it,” he said. “To be honest, hitting a podium is sometimes a little bit of an unrealistic goal. Usually the countries that get in the top five spots, they train every day, all day with eight guys helping them for eight hours a day. Their job is training for Skills.”
Taves trained two to three times a week, making the drive to NAIT after work at Fountain Tire in Camrose to work one-on-one with a mentor for 15 months.
Competitors competed in eight different discipline in the three-day marathon competition as they worked on Hyundai 1.6L engines. Each event was two hours long as they were tasked with everything from diagnostics to various repairs on different systems.
In the end it came down to a couple of missed points for Taves.
“You’re in the situation where you’re rushing and trying to get things done, and I missed a couple of things,” he said.
This was his second international event, having competed in Sweden last year, so it was an atmosphere he was used to.
“I felt very confident in it, there was nothing there that caught me off guard thanks to my training and the support of everyone who contributed to my training,” he said. “There’s a lot of people moving through and you have to stay focused doing what you’re doing and not allow that to distract you.”
Taves spent an extra five days in the Middle East checking out what the region had to offer, including going to Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts Formula 1 races. While there they got to test drive Formula 3000 cars. They also spent a few days in Dubai and made a couple excursions into the desert.
“There was a lot of things to do there and we weren’t able to get them all done,” he said.
Taves is not exactly sure what his next step will be, though he foresees a long relationship with Skills Canada and Skills Alberta. This week he will be going to Ottawa to make a presentation at Algonquin College as part of National Skill Trades Technology Week.
“It’s an event to help support and encourage younger people to get into the trades and show them all the highlights of it,” he said.