WorldSkills to suit gun apprentices: western region's best gearing up

BEST IN THE WEST: Kieran Muldoon tries on his new jacket as Nathan Kelly, James Kelly, Lyle Davis, Reece Bennett and Pete Johnson look on ahead of the WorldSkills Australia National Competition on September 18. 
Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0829sgworldskills1

BEST IN THE WEST: Kieran Muldoon tries on his new jacket as Nathan Kelly, James Kelly, Lyle Davis, Reece Bennett and Pete Johnson look on ahead of the WorldSkills Australia National Competition on September 18. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0829sgworldskills1

NINE apprentices from western NSW are in the final stages of their preparations ahead of the WorldSkills Australia National Competition, from September 18 to 20 in Perth.

On Friday, six of the nine apprentices in the Macquarie region team met to work out the logistics of transporting their three container-loads of equipment, learn the finer details of the competition’s rule book, and try on their uniforms.

The team consists of apprentices from Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo regions in electrical, carpentry, bricklaying, fitting and turning industries who were selected from regional competitions last year.

They will compete individually in a series of challenges over three days alongside 500 of the best apprentices and trainees from around Australia.

Orange fourth-year electrical apprentices Lyle Davis and Pete Johnson will compete in the mechatronics section, the only section that requires teams of two, and will attempt one major project over the three days and speed challenges every day.

“Me and Pete have been doing training once or twice a week since about September last year,” Mr Davis said.

“We basically mimic the competition and do all the challenges that we can think of,” Mr Johnson added.

The national competition runs every two years, and if any of the apprentices are successful, they have the opportunity to travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil with the Skillaroos for the international WorldSkills competition next year.

Orange TAFE fitting and machinery teacher and team mentor Marty Whelan said the competition would push the apprentices to their limits. 

“They can create a fantastic network of contacts within their industries and I think it will open their eyes to a lot of opportunities in the industry,” he said.

alexandra.king@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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