JAMES Kelly and Reece Bennett are the central west’s best apprentice fitter and machinists.
Mr Bennett and Mr Kelly, of Orange, took out first place titles in the Worldskills Regional Competition held in Orange recently.
Mr Bennett said the key to being a successful apprentice was listening to your boss and “a lot of hard work”.
“It’s a really rewarding job,” he said.
“My family has been in the industry for years so I wanted to do it too.”
Employed by Skillset and hosted by Jeff Hort Engineering, Mr Kelly took out first place in the turning category.
Mr Bennett, hosted by Scott Camery Welding and Fabrication, received first place in the fitting category.
Mr Kelly said he was shocked he won his category considering the competition stretched from across the region as far as Cobar, Lithgow and Dubbo.
There were 10 apprentices competing in the turning category and eight in the fitting category.
“It was pretty difficult, we got given a drawing and a certain amount of time to complete it,” he said.
“We were judged on what we had finished.”
Mr Kelly is a second-year apprentice and said he became a fitter and machinists after doing work experience at Jeff Hort Engineering through his school.
“I was pretty excited, I guess it shows how far I have come,” he said.
Mr Bennett said he owed his success to the training he had received from his boss.
The apprentices will go to Perth next year to compete in the National WorldSkills Competition.
If they are successful they will travel overseas to compete against the best apprentices in the world.