WorldSkills Expert Focus

While all eyes are on Abu Dhabi – where the next edition of the world's biggest vocational skills competition will be presented this October – exciting plans are also afoot for the next WorldSkills competition, which will be hosted in Russia: WorldSkills Kazan 2019. Looking forward to this adventure, in the fourth part of our Plumbing and Heating Expert Focus series we are excited to introduce you to ...



I work as a teacher of professional education in a college in Moscow. I also work for WorldSkills Russia as an Expert in Plumbing and Heating, and am our lead coordinator for the overall Building and Construction skills sector. This means I help organize, develop and prepare Russian competitors for international competition … not only in plumbing, but in other building skills including carpentry, painting and decorating, and bricklaying.

The WorldSkills Russia Team makes its entrance at the WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 Parade of Nations.

My father was an installer of plumbing and heating equipment ... he definitely gave me the passion for this profession. After I got my qualifications I worked as an installer in plumbing and heating for six years. Following this I worked as a project manager for a manufacturer of plumbing and heating equipment, and finally I joined with WorldSkills Russia to help develop the plumbing skill in our country and to prepare Russian competitors for international competition.

Alexey (front row, center) at work alongside other international Plumbing and Heating Experts at the EuroSkills 2016 competition, hosted in Gothenburg, Sweden, December 2016.

There are specific codes and rules in Russia that regulate the activity of the construction sector ... specifically, in my area, rules regulating plumbing and heating, water, and refrigeration systems. A big challenge for us today is that many of these policies and rules were issued in the 1980s, so they are not up to date. We need to renew such policies and rules to integrate with more modern equipment now available across our sector. The problem is that our existing regulations often restrict options for new equipment that can be installed in large construction projects.

Workshop setup and competitor briefings at the WorldSkills Russia national championships in Krasnodar, May 2017.

Our practice training is based on previous WorldSkills Test Projects. Russian competitors-in-training are tested on modules from the last WorldSkills international competition, and we measure their progress and performance against these. We compare their results against results of the international competition, and it is decided after that: those with the best results go forward. I brought one of our young Plumbing and Heating competitors-in-training for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 to the WorldSkills UK Squad selection event in March, which was an excellent experience for all of us.

Alexey (center) discussing potential WorldSkills Kazan 2019 Plumbing and Heating Test Project development during WorldSkills UK squad selection event in Stockport, England, March 2017. (Left to right) Paul Dodds, Deputy Chief Expert; Yulia Panfilova, WorldSkills Russia; Seán Kearney, IAPMO, and Markus Niederer, Chief Expert

We have conditions in place that specify items must be reused and recycled, after an event, as part of arrangements for sponsorship of materials and equipment at Russian national competitions. I work with a Russian charity that in English is pronounced "Miloserdie," meaning "Mercy." Following past competitions in Moscow we have worked together to renovate rooms in a nearby children's home, using leftover materials plus other parts of the Test Project pieces used in the competition.

As preparations for the main event in two years' time gather pace, Skillsy and Smarty – official mascots for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 – are unveiled during WorldSkills Russia national championships in Krasnodar, May 2017.

WorldSkills gives an arena to showcase and compare new equipment, rules and policies, and by hosting WorldSkills Kazan 2019 we can try to share these alternatives ... new approaches from other countries that can make an impact in our country, across different sectors. We have this great opportunity ahead, which is already a victory for us.

© 2017 International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

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