Given the current COVID-19 restrictions, some Australian states are yet to compete which has delayed the national competition process but has not changed the enthusiasm the competitors, employers and industry displayed towards the bi-annual event.
Tobias Seibel, 23, from Motorama Toyota (Moorooka) competed in the automotive mechanics trade area at TAFE Queensland’s Acacia Ridge campus and said that the competition was a lot different to the regional WorldSkills competitions that he had previously competed in.
“There’s a lot more fault finding, diagnosing and repairing but it’s been really good,” Tobias said.
“Meeting all the different trades that I didn’t know competed in the competition like floristry was an eye opener as well. To see what TAFE has to offer and then to back it up with these competitions really gives people the chance to showcase what their made off,” he said.
This year, Queensland competitors were challenged in simulated work environments during the competition at a number of TAFE Queensland campuses across Brisbane and Bundaberg. They competed in a range of different skills areas including hairdressing, bricklaying, fashion, plumbing, heavy vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, information technology, and cookery — just to name a few.
The Championships were originally postponed in 2020 due to restrictions relating to COVID-19 however the extra year has enabled competitors more time to train and perfect their skills and ready themselves ahead of the national Championships.
TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mary Campbell met with all 73 competitors in the Queensland Team prior to the competition and said that she was extremely proud of the determination and passion that the young trade professionals displayed for their chosen skill area.
“These young men and women have dedicated many hours outside of their normal working weeks to train for these WorldSkills National Championships,” Mrs Campbell said.
“I am extremely impressed by their dedication to their trade and the sheer enthusiasm they displayed over the weekend to be the best tradespeople that they can be."
“I also acknowledge the incredible work of the WorldSkills Queensland Team and the TAFE Queensland teachers and volunteer staff who have all worked tirelessly to support these young apprentices and trainees to make this year’s event possible.
“Vocational Education and Training forms an integral piece of the Australian education system and the Championships highlight the important role that skilled workers play in our industries and our communities across Australia,” she said.
WorldSkills Australia Queensland Manager Eric Davis has been involved with the Championships since 2003 said that whilst there were obstacles to overcome this year due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, being able to see the Queensland Team compete at their best had made the journey all worthwhile.
“These apprentices and trainees all worked tremendously hard on their individual skills to be selected to compete at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships,” Mr Davis said.
“They should all be extremely proud of what they have achieved this year from further developing their skills to networking, forging new friendships and creating exciting new career opportunities."
Queenslanders who are successful at the National Championships may be asked to travel to Shanghai, in China to compete as part of the Australian Skillaroos Team. The 46th WorldSkills International Competition is planned to be held in August 2022.
To find out more about the competition visit https://www.worldskills.org.au/ or to find out how you can get involved, call the WorldSkills Queensland Office on 07 3244 0230.