Three TAFE Queensland apprentices will compete in a national Olympic-style WorldSkills competition after recently taking out gold in the South East Queensland regional titles.

Blade Cowell, 24, won gold for bricklaying, Jeremy Drabsch, also 24, took out the automotive category, and the plumbing competition was won by 20-year-old female apprentice Shannon Gill.

All three, who train at the Ashmore campus, will go up against the nation’s best at the WorldSkills Australia competition next year where they will put their talents to the test over three exciting days of competition.

If they win at the national level they will have a chance to represent the country in Shanghai, China in 2021 as part of the Australian Skillaroos team at the 46th WorldSkills International Championships.

Blade, who is a fourth-year-apprentice, said he was nervous during the competition as it was a last minute decision to enter and he hadn’t properly prepared.

“I was very surprised when I found out that I had won, I thought I did alright but there were some other competitors that I thought did a great job as well,” said Blade.

“It is a huge honour to have been selected to go to the national finals, this opportunity will allow me to showcase the skills and training I have acquired at TAFE and in the workplace over the past four years,” he continued.

“My achievement it a big credit to my TAFE teacher who has helped me hone in on my skills and is always willing to give me a hand or take the extra time to explain something.”

Leading up to the national competition, the apprentices will receive training and mentoring by their TAFE Queensland teachers to perfect their skills for the national competition.

TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson, said she is extremely proud and wishes all the competitors the best of luck.

“I want to congratulate Blade, Jeremy and Shannon and I am confident they will do us proud and show just what TAFE Queensland students can achieve when they compete on the national stage,” she said.

Five hundred of Australia’s best students will compete for gold in more than 50 skill categories ranging from traditional trades such as plumbing, bricklaying and hairdressing to the more contemporary professions of web design and fashion technology.



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