Trade Olympics

Close to 500 of Australia's best apprentices, trainees and students recently vied for medals in the nation's largest and most prestigious skills competition.

WorldSkills Australia's National Competition is the trade world's answer to the Olympics. This year NSW Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) students took out 20 of 33 medals over three days of intense competition at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush.

Students from NSW public schools secured 11 of these, including four gold.

Wagga Wagga High School student Rhys Creed, who won a silver medal in the metals and engineering category, said competing in the competition was very hard work.

"We have to make sure that everything is spot on, to the best-quality standards that we can give, to try to come out at the end with our best result," he said.

The Ultimate Skills Challenge attracts industry and more than 80,000 spectators, giving students the chance to develop confidence while competing and demonstrating their skills.

Andrew Upton, NSW VETiS team leader, said the industry curriculum frameworks complemented the whole school curriculum.

"VETiS gives students a chance to have a look at what's happening out in the real world, and the chance to go down a pathway into a trade or a particular industry," he said.

Most students started their training in Year 11, though some began in Year 10. They learned to juggle their practical trade work with school work, do work placements, and work towards a certificate in a national Australian qualification.

Thirty-one students progressed from State competitions to compete in the 2012 NSW VETiS team, with 18 from public schools, eight from catholic schools and five from independent schools.

The NSW team also took out the VETiS Shield for Best Performed State, with public schools winning 11 medals across seven of the 11 categories which included:  automotive, business services, commercial cookery, construction, electrotechnology, food & beverage, information technology, metals & engineering, primary industries, retail & tourism.

 

2012 Department of Education and Communities National WorldSkills Medallists

 

COMPETITOR

CATEGORY

REGION/SCHOOL

MEDAL

Jade McConnell

Business Services

Hunter Central Coast

Merriwa Central School

Gold

Klara McCaw

Business Services

Riverina

Finely HS

Silver

Jack Salzke

Construction

Riverina

Wagga Wagga HS

Gold

Jake Mortimer

Electrotechnology

Western NSW

Dubbo Senior Campus

Silver

Alex Cowle

Information Technology

Northern Sydney

Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts HS

Gold

Julia Wong

Information Technology

Sydney

Gymea Technology HS

Silver

Matthew Garlan

Metal & Engineering

Riverina

Kooringal HS

Gold

Rhys Creed

Metal & Engineering

Riverina

Wagga Wagga HS

Silver

Jordan Kerr

Primary Industries

South Western Sydney

Hurlstone Agricultural HS

Silver

Lucinda Yeomans

Primary Industries

New England

Armidale HS

Bronze

Brooke Waugh

Retail

Riverina

Young HS

Silver

Video: Produced by Trisha Treanor on iPad.

 

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