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Winner-peg: Manitoba high school student representing Canada at WorldSkills trades competition

Steinbach, Manitoba — James Bartel, a grade 12 student from Steinbach Regional Secondary will be travelling to Lyon, France to represent Canada at the 47th WorldSkills Trades competition.

Bartel recently won the Skills Canada Autobody Repair competition and this cemented his place as a competitor at WorldSkills in France.

Bartel is currently fundraising to compete against some of the world’s best high school and college students and will be the first SRSS student to make the trip and only the second to ever qualify said collision repair and refinishing teacher, Jessy Unrau.

Bartel was in grade 11 when he came out on top at the national Canadian competition held in Winnipeg this May.

“James got even a higher mark than the post-secondary students, and so that’s why he got the invitation [to France],” explained Unrau, who will be joining Bartel on the trip.

When he originally learned about his success at the Skills Canada Autobody and Repair competition and his invitation to France, Bartel explained that his “first feelings were just overwhelmed, completely unexpected.”

Bartel still needs a toolbox and also hopes to go to Skills Canada’s national competition again this year in Quebec to prepare for France.

To show their support, SRSS culinary students have already chipped in by giving Bartel half of their poutine money.

Bartel has also received $1,000 worth of donated tools from NAPA as well as a car to work on taking apart and reassembling from LKQ.

To prepare for France, Bartel is now working on speed as the WorldSkills competition will be timed.

The WorldSkills event will take place from September 10 to 15, 2024 where approximately 1,500 competitors from over 60 countries and regions will compete in over 60 skilled events.

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