Toronto, Ontario — The nation has chosen Ontario’s Abigail King as its champion to represent Canada’s auto body repair industry at the WorldSkills Competition 2022, set to run from Sept. 7 to Nov. 26.
King is currently studying to become an auto body technician and dreams of one day running her own customs shop.
She says she enjoys the physical satisfaction of working with your hands, combined with the ability to be creative and face new challenges on a daily basis.
Showing that many paths can lead us to the collision repair field, King said prior to enrolling in an auto body repair program, she took a year of pre-health sciences with the thought of potentially becoming a paramedic.
A harsh critic of her own work, King was hand-picked by her instructors to compete in this year’s SkillsCanada events and noted that participating in the national competition “made a huge impact on how I see myself,” she said.
“Throughout the competition, I criticized my work and myself harshly when I shouldn’t have. I now know that what I’m doing is impressive and that I should never be so hard on myself.”
King said there are three skills that she has started honing in on since the start of her competitive career: communication, problem-solving, and reading.
“Communication is crucial: I need to be able to talk to my instructor about the project, what steps I need to take to complete it, and how I can do better. I need to email other trainers who are willing to train me, and communicate with judges and volunteers at the competition,” said King.
“Problem-solving is important because I need to be able to fix mistakes I’ve made, and also fix damage to vehicles.
“Reading is key as I need to read the contest scope, follow written instructions, and read OEM procedures. I believe adaptability is the most important skill to improve because there will always be new inventions in the automotive industry.”
King will be competing at one of 61 skills competitions to be held across 15 countries in Europe, North America and East Asia, as part of the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.
This year’s competition is being held internationally in lieu of the cancellation of WorldSkills Shanghai 2022.
Sound off down below. Have you, or one of your technicians, ever competed in a skills competition? Would you consider entering one of your technicians, or yourself, in a skills competition?