23.08.2017 | In Focus

A "nomad" in Abu Dhabi

In October, 2017, Simon Furrer will represent Switzerland at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi. This young electrician works with tools made by PB Swiss Tools. In this interview, he tells us why he is such a fan of them and how he is preparing for the competition.

Every two years, the best professionals in their trades participate at WorldSkills: In Abu Dhabi, from October 15 to 18, 2017, at the world's largest professional competition, 1300 of the best international junior specialists (under 23 years of age) in 51 disciplines will compete against one another; among them will be electrician Simon Furrer. For months, this 22-year-old has been preparing for the competition, supported by his employer CKW in Beromünster,along with PB Swiss Tools as a material sponsor.

We were told by Simon Furrer how all this came about, how he was training, what he was expecting and what goals he had set.


Simon Furrer, what requirements did you have to fulfill in order to participate at WorldSkills? And how strong is the competition there?
Simon Furrer: I previously won the regional championships and the Swiss championship. That was my ticket to Abu Dhabi, so to speak. We will make up a total of 26 "nomads" who are fighting for victory in our discipline.


What exactly do you have to do there?
Assemble and program. We have to carry out various tasks, actually modules, within a certain period of time. For example, I have to program a controller, draw a diagram, and look for errors in a contactor control circuit.


What do you see as the greatest challenge?
For me, programming the controller will be the biggest obstacle. That is new to me, and so I still have little experience. In general, it is all about staying as calm as possible during the competition and making the right decisions under time pressure. You will not be finished in the given time anyway, but we try to set the priorities right and do as much as possible.


How do you prepare for the competition? And how much time do you need for this?
I miss two and a half to three months of work and also invest a lot of my spare time. My team colleague and I train five times a week, and practice by doing a task that is similar to the ones that we will have to deal with during the competition. The main focus is on optimizing procedures and keeping an eye on the time. We also get tips from former participants who are at the training and who tell us about their experiences.


Do you also benefit personally by participating?
Yes, definitely. You also learn a lot about life. Mental training helps me to work well even under pressure. This will certainly help me later.


How did the sponsorship by PB Swiss Tools come about? And how exactly do you benefit from it?
I inquired at PB Swiss Tools and received a sum for purchasing tools. This is a valuable financial relief for me. I prefer to work, both professionally and privately, with tools from PB Swiss Tools because they are simply good products, and, for the WorldSkills Competition, I needed additional tools. However, we are now training for the rest of the time without them: they have already been shipped to Abu Dhabi.


What is your goal?
We give our best. The competition is strong, but our chances are good. In that regard, everything is possible.


Simon Furrer, we are excited and will keep our fingers crossed for you!

For more information, see Website World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017

Share this article
Share Tweet Share Email
Subscribe to Inside magazine