Ponoka man part of world skills challenge

A Ponoka man has been chosen to represent Canada at next year’s WorldSkills Competition.

A Ponoka man has been chosen to represent Canada at next year’s WorldSkills Competition.

Bart Van Haaren is one of 35 tradespeople who’ll form Team Canada to take part in the 42nd annual WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany, next July.

He’s one of 1,000 competitors from 61 WorldSkills International Member regions and countries who’ll participate, competing in 43 skilled trade disciplines.

Van Haaren will compete in the joinery category. Joinery is carpentry cutting and fitting joints in wood without nails, screws or other fasteners such as cabinets.

“It’s a real treat,” said the 21-year-old.

He was selected from the Skills Canada National Competition, an effort by the non-profit Skills/Compétences Canada working with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth.

“I competed in Skills Canada in high school and when done, kept at it.”

He completed his four-year apprenticeship through NAIT earlier this year and is in his fifth year working at Ponoka Cabinet Makers.

Van Haaren was recently in Ottawa to meet other team members and go through an orientation.

Going to Leipzig will be something of a homecoming.

“I was born in Holland and moved here when I was 11,” said Van Haaren.

“It’ll be like going back home a little bit.”

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