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GOTAFE apprentices awarded at WorldSkills Regional Presentation

17 GOTAFE apprentices were awarded at the WorldSkills Central Victorian Regional Medal Presentation Ceremony last night.

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Apprentices from air-conditioning and refrigeration, metal fabrication, turning, automotive, motorcycle mechanics and baking participated in the Regional Competitions, showcasing their talent and skills as they competed against their peers.

GOTAFE apprentices won eight gold, six silver and five bronze medals throughout the competition.

Travis Heeney, CEO GOTAFE said “the WorldSkills Competitions encourage excellence in trades and prepares students for work in the industry”.

"Throughout the competition, the students showed incredible passion and commitment to their craft and are on their way to becoming future leaders in their industries. Congratulations to all competitors and everyone involved."

Travis Heeney, CEO GOTAFE

Jodie Gottschling, GOTAFE Student Life Advisor and WorldSkills Coordinator said “the WorldSkills Competition benefits trade areas, apprentices, employers and industries. We were proud to partner with Bendigo, Wodonga and Federation TAFE to facilitate competitions across the region.”

“It was fantastic to celebrate last night with the students, as well as their trainers, workplaces, mentors, families and friends who supported them to achieve their best,” she added.

Jack Bird, a 16-year-old apprentice from Shepparton was a featured speaker at last night’s Medal presentation.

Despite only having six months’ experience, Jack took out the gold medal at the WorldSkills Turning Competition. He said, “the WorldSkills Competition was challenging, because you had the time ticking on you, but you just have to keep your head in the right place. I found it really enjoyable and met some really great people”.

Jack found his passion for engineering during his work experience at Goulburn Valley Engineering Works and decided to enrol in a Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (MEM30319) at GOTAFE.

GOTAFE Trainer Jeremy Connell L and Jack Bird R

Damien Witting decided to pursue a career in baking after working in a Dominos kitchen. He went on to work as an apprentice at Salus Bakery in Wangaratta while studying a Certificate III in Baking (FBP30521) at GOTAFE.

Damien won gold at the Retail Bread Baking WorldSkills Competition. “WorldSkills is something I want to do more as I had lots of fun while competing and I learned a lot. It was good to work under pressure and learn from other bakers,” he said.

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Jake Tyford grew up around trucks so pursuing a Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology (AUR32420) at GOTAFE was a natural next step for him. “Competing in WorldSkills was a fun experience,” said Jake, who won the gold medal in the Auto Body Finishing Competition.

“Most of the stuff I had to do in the competition, I do every single day at work,” said Jake who is undertaking his apprenticeship at Complete Body Craft in Rutherglen.

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Students who won gold will vie for the title of National Champion at the Australian National WorldSkills Competitions in Melbourne next year.

“Eight GOTAFE students will have the opportunity to represent our region and test their skills against the best apprentices and trainees in the country. We are so proud to have them represent GOTAFE at such a high level and we wish them all the best for the next stage of the competition,” Mr Heeney added.

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