Four young and ambitious nursing students from across South Africa have been selected to take part in the WorldSkills South Africa national competition, in the Health and Social Care skill category, later this year. They will be vying for the chance to represent South Africa at the 46th International WorldSkills Competition, to be hosted in Shanghai, China.
The four finalists were selected following a challenging provincial leg of the competition at two venues – Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Campus of the KZN Nursing College, and North-West University, MahikengCampus – last week. Twenty competitors were put through their paces in simulated hospital and clinic environments, to test their knowledge and understanding of their specific skills.
Each of the twenty competitors have been awarded post graduate bursaries to further their studies and training for their driver’s licenses from the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA). HWSETA and WorldSkills SA are co-hosts of the WorldSkills SA competition, in the disciplines of Health and Social Care.
One of the provincial winners, 22-year-old Dalisu Khumalo from Mtubatuba in Northern KwaZulu-Natal says, “The bursary was such a surprise to me, I can’t even explain it. I think I will use it to study further and get an advanced diploma in midwifery.” The third-year nursing student at KZN Nursing College’s Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Campus says she loves to help people but is naturally shy and the competition has helped her overcome this, “Taking part in the competition has pushed me beyond my boundaries and I am more confident now.”
21-year-old TshiamoMokgoetsi from Rustenberg, one of the provincial winners, agrees with Dalisu, “I’ve gained so much more confidence by taking part in this WorldSkills competition. We have been exposed to so many things and my CV is also going to be looking good.”
Sakhile Ngcobo from Soweto is in his fourth year of studying nursing. He says he is elated and still on cloud nine at having been selected, “I want to specialise in primary healthcare, so this has really opened doors for us. On top of that, HWSETA has said they are offering us employment opportunities after comm service, so this has given me job security.”
22-year-old Sabelo Mazibuko is studying nursing at Charles Johnson Memorial Campus in Nqutu. He says while the competition was tough, he gave it his best, “My mom was very happy. My family cried tears of joy when I phoned to tell them I was one of the provincial winners. They say that I have made them proud.”
It is the first time that South Africa is taking part in the skill of Health and Social Care at the WorldSkills competition. HWSETA CEO Elaine Brass says partnerships were imperative in staging the competition for this skill, “Together we have brought the Health and Social skill alive, embraced it, competed it and now we are celebrating it. This is only the beginning, there is much anticipation for the future competitions to come across all provinces.”
The four winners will battle it out at the national competition, in Durban later this year. It is at this National competition that the final team, which will represent South Africa in the International competition, will be selected.
At the 46th WorldSkills Competition, in China in October 2022, more than a thousand young people from around the world will compete in over 60 skills.