Twenty-five-year old wall and floor tiling trades woman, Melanie Sweeney, is set to compete against seventy-two of Queensland’s top trainees and apprentices at the 2021 WorldSkills Australia National Championships from 26-28 August at TAFE Queensland’s South Bank, Acacia Ridge, Bracken Ridge, Mount Gravatt, Alexandra Hills and Bundaberg campuses.

Melanie, who is employed by John Cook Tiling, said that she was really looking forward to competing in the championships and meeting new people in her trade.

“I first competed in the WorldSkills Competition in 2017 when I started my apprenticeship and I didn’t do too well, so when the next competition came around I was really keen to give it another go,” Melanie said.

“The competition has definitely taught me new skills, things that I wouldn’t normally do in my trade. It’s also really good to have on your resume as the competition is so well recognised,” she continued.

“It’s just an awesome opportunity, it’s a one in a lifetime thing. Even if you don’t win you get so much out of the experience and it’s really fun too.”

“My employer is stoked that I’m involved in the competition, he’s pretty proud of it. Whenever we go out to new job sites, he always mentions it. All the tiling shops that we work with are getting pretty excited about it too.”

Melanie has spent numerous hours outside of work perfecting her skills with her TAFE Queensland Wall and Floor Tiling teacher, Job Grant, who has high hopes for her in the competition.

This is not the first time that Melanie has been recognised for her skills having previously been awarded the TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Apprentice of the Year in 2019. Melanie received the award for her commitment to her trade and also, for her dedication to helping others through her volunteer work with children in foster care.

The 2021 Queensland team members became eligible for selection after competing in WorldSkills Australia regional competitions across the state. They will represent their families, employers and each of the six Queensland WorldSkills regions of Brisbane, Central Queensland, Gold Coast, North Queensland, South West and Wide Bay.

This year over 400 competitors from 34 Australian regions will vie for the title of ‘National Champion’ in simulated work environments during the competition. Competitors will be competing in a range of different skills areas including hairdressing, bricklaying, fashion, plumbing, heavy vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, information technology, retail butchery and cookery - just to name a few.

The WorldSkills Australia National Championships is the largest vocational educational and excellence competition in Australia and biannually competitors travel from across Australia to put their skills to the test across over 50 different trade and skills areas.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in place around Australia, this year the competitions will be contested within four states – Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland - with national gold, silver and bronze medallists to be announced after the end of the two-day competition.

Queenslanders who are successful at the National Championships will be eligible to travel to Shanghai in China to compete as part of the Australian Skillaroos Team at the 46th WorldSkills International Competition which is planned to be held in August 2022.

To follow the competition visit the WorldSkills Australia website or to find out how you can get involved, call the WorldSkills Queensland Office on 07 3244 0230.

Visit the WorldSkills Australia website

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