Red Deer Polytechnic Welding Apprentice Dayton Playford is ready to demonstrate his competencies on the global stage at WorldSkills Competition in Cleveland, Ohio.

In May, Playford qualified for WorldSkills after impressively earning gold medals in welding at both Skills Canada Alberta and Skills Canada National Competitions. Besides his motivation to perform well among 30 welding competitors from around the world, Playford also views the event as a learning opportunity.

“There will be very strong competition at WorldSkills,” says Playford, of the event that runs from October 17 to 20. “It will be interesting to see how other countries approach their work and how they accomplish their welding goals. I am looking forward to meeting the competitors and doing the best that I can.”

Red Deer Polytechnic’s skilled trades programming has built a positive reputation well beyond central Alberta. The Polytechnic’s Apprentices have performed extremely well at Skills Canada Alberta and Skills Canada National Competitions.

“Since 2015, Red Deer Polytechnic Apprentices have captured four national gold medals, six provincial golds, one provincial bronze, and now Dayton has the opportunity to represent Team Canada in welding at WorldSkills 2022. The success of the Polytechnic’s Apprentices reflects the entire Welding Department, School of Education and Trades, and Red Deer Polytechnic," Lee Yasinski, RDP Welding Instructor and Skills Coach.            

Playford appreciates how the Polytechnic has helped him advance his skills and prepare for WorldSkills.

“RDP has exceptional skilled trades programming which has high-quality people who want the best for students. The whole institution has been supportive of me,” he says. “Lee has been tremendous. He’s trained me over the past few years and has helped me get to WorldSkills.”

With Yasinski’s guidance, Playford has been diligently practicing specific timed tasks in preparation for the global competition.

“Dayton’s time training has included passing x-ray welds on both plate and pipe, interpreting blueprints, fabricating pressure vessels subject to a 1,000 PSI hydro test, and fabricating aluminum and stainless steel structures,” explains Yasinski. “His training has also included developing skills to find the optimum adjustment to his power source.”

Playford has strong knowledge and understanding of the different wavelength features on his welding power source. These competencies have allowed him to find the optimum setting to execute welds that display excellence in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) on various structural shapes and materials.

“WorldSkills is the Olympics of skilled trades competition,” says Yasinski. “Dayton’s success and ability to qualify at the world level reflects his commitment to training, along with family support, local industry support, employer flexibility, Red Deer Polytechnic support and meaningful training.”

Playford is grateful for the support from many organizations that has allowed him to compete at WorldSkills. After several months of specifically training for WorldSkills, both Playford and Yasinski are enthusiastically looking forward to the experience.

“Dayton and I are excited to fly out of Calgary to Cleveland on October 13 in the quest for gold,” adds Yasinski. “Representing Red Deer Polytechnic, central Alberta and Canada is an honour.”