Fourth year spray painting apprentice Billy Cowcher was awarded a silver medal at the National World Skills Competition held in Perth from 19 to 21 September.
The 21 year-old GOTAFE apprentice and employee at Woollards Auto Body Works in Shepparton won gold at the state level World Skills competition earlier this year making him eligible to compete at the National level competition and only came second by 1.5 points.
GOTAFE Team Leader for Automotive, Mark Ward has been the driving force behind Billy entering competitions and is especially proud of his achievements.
“As a trainer and a mentor I am extremely proud of Billy, he narrowly missed out on taking home the gold, only coming second by one and a half points,” said Mark.
“Billy was awesome to see in action, the competition can get really stressful, the students are asked to do a lot under really tight time constraints, he handled the pressure exceptionally well and the results show that.
“He was required to match a pre-tinted colour supplied by the organisers and had to paint three panels, a bonnet and two front guards.
“He also had to mask out a design to specific to the organisers measurements, this year it was lightning bolts running down the side of the bonnet, he did a terrific job.
“I was lucky enough to be able to attend the competition with Billy and there is lots of organising involved in getting students to this level but seeing Billy compete on a nationals stage and do so well makes it all worthwhile.”
Billy said that the opportunity to attend would not have been possible without the support of GOTAFE and his employer, Woollards Auto Body Works in Shepparton.
“GOTAFE has always given me that little extra push I needed to enter competitions, especially Wardy (GOTAFE Team Leader for Automotive, Mark Ward) who has always helped me to get where I needed to go,” said Billy.
“Mark has gotten me most of my sponsors, making it possible for me to travel to Perth to compete at the National World Skills competition.
“It feels great to be able to take home the silver medal, not only for me but for me employer who has been so supportive, generous and flexible with my work to enable me to practice and prepare for the competition.”
The 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition was held at Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre between the 18th and 20th of September. The three day event showcased the skills of 500 of Australia’s best trainees, apprentices and students who competed for the prestigious title of ‘Nation’s Best’ in over 50 skill and trade areas. For more information visit WorldSkills Australia