CNA faculty recognized among the world’s best

Instructor acknowledged for skills, expertise

9/29/2021 9:49:24 AM

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Richard Spencer, Computer Support and Networking Specialist Instructor at College of the North Atlantic (CNA), continues to add expert to his list of qualifications.

Spencer has been named Deputy Chief Expert in Cloud Computing with Worldskills, a competition that occurs every two years and has taken place all over the world since the 1950s. They offer competitions in more than 51 skills areas with approximately 1,300 young people taking part. The next competition will take place in Shanghai in 2022.

“It’s good to see a vote of confidence from my peers on the world stage and I feel it will make me a much better educator and all-around person,” he said.

Worldskills competitions aim to inspire and build confidence in young competitors to perfect their crafts and turn their skills into a profession. The organization brings together young people, industry, government, education, and institutions, to promote the benefits of and need for skilled trade professionals. Competitors are tested in a myriad of fields, from aircraft maintenance to welding.

The newly appointed Deputy Chief Expert is no stranger to these competitions. Spencer became involved with Worldskills in 2019 when it took place in Kazan, Russia. There, he was the Canadian expert in Cloud Computing, and was also coach to CNA graduate Evan Rideout, who competed in that field with Team Canada.

Carole Ann Ryan, executive director of Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador, says Spencer has been a dedicated and valuable volunteer with Skills Canada for many years, encouraging youth both provincially and from coast to coast to develop in-demand, high-level IT Skills.  

“In 2019, Richard led the introduction and design of the National Cloud Computing Competition and ensured success on the world stage as a Coach and Canadian Expert,” she said. “We are delighted with Richard’s appointment as Deputy Chief Expert in Cloud Computing with WorldSkills and proud as he inspires youth around the globe to pursue this critically important and emerging career path. “

At the end of each competition, experts vote for the Skill Management Team for the next competition. Spencer says he was happy to hear he had been chosen and the leadership opportunities the new role offers.

“I wanted the additional responsibility and to be even more involved, Chief Experts and Deputy Chief Experts work closely with all member countries taking part in WorldSkills Shanghai and gain an understanding of how the skill is developing on a global scale,” Spencer said. “It is a fantastic opportunity to enhance my management and leadership skills. It also allows me to connect with the major players in the Cloud Computing area and to develop as an educator.”

The role carries a lot of influence and responsibility, which Spencer says he welcomes.

“Experts are placed at the front line of competition delivery, dealing with a wide range of possible issues from accurate assessment of technical skills right through to competitor safety.”

Spencer hopes to inspire others to pursue a career in this field.

“Cloud Computing is the future,” said Spencer. “The current pandemic has shown how we need to be able to react quickly and work from anywhere. Cloud services will make this happen – get involved; learn everything available to you and join this fast-growing sector.”

For more information about CNA programs, visit

To learn more about Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador, visit:
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Ryanne McIsaac
Content Specialist
College of the North Atlantic