The WorldSkills Australia 2017 Global Skills Challenge, held in Newcastle this week, saw more than 300 competitors, experts and interpreters from different nations take part in a simulated international competition, across 20 different skill categories.
The Skills Squad
team members possess a diverse range of skills, from carpentry and heavy vehicle maintenance, to 3D Digital Game Art.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said the four-day competition was the last chance for competitors to earn a place in the Skillaroos squad to represent Australia at the world’s largest skills competition.
“This event is a critical part of the Australian Skills Squad’s preparation for the 2017 WorldSkills International Competition being held in Abu Dhabi in October,” Minister Andrews said in a statement.
“It is fascinating to see what our Aussie competitors can do when coming head to head with apprentices from other countries such as China, Brazil and Morocco,” she said.
Andrews added that the event showcases the diversity of vocational education career opportunities as well as the “tremendous industry knowledge “required to become a global expert.
One of the apprentices represent Australia at the event is Dusti-Lee Franci, a vehicle painter from South Metropolitan TAFE.
Franci said she was excited about the opportunity to represent her team in an international competition.
“Going to Abu Dhabi is a fantastic opportunity and I’m doing everything I can to ensure I perform to the best of my abilities,” Franci said.
“There’s nothing like the feeling of satisfaction you get from fixing up a crumpled wreck and transforming it to something that’s painted, finished, shiny and showroom ready. And it’s so rewarding when customers really appreciate all your hard work. Making them happy is my favourite part of the job.”
Andrews said much of Franci’s success could be attributed to the passion she has for her work.
“This passion has really shone through throughout the competition,” Andrews said.
Alexander Halls, a landscaper at Biajag Constructions in Queanbeyan, and his team mate Dougal King have shown true initiative to ensure they make it to Abu Dhabi.
“We have been putting in a lot of time practicing and learning new techniques that will make us quicker and more efficient at the event,” Hall said.
Andrews said that after today’s competition, she is confident that the Skillaroos are well-prepared to represent Australia in Abu Dhabi.
“I wish our team all the best of luck and look forward to hearing of their efforts on the world stage,” she said.
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Australia’s best apprentices have taken on competitors from more than 15 countries to earn a place to represent their country on the world stage.