Young sparkies show off top skills

Pilbara News - - Education - Ali­cia Per­era

■ Sparks were lit­er­ally fly­ing at St Luke’s Col­lege’s Trade Train­ing Cen­tre last Fri­day when most of the Year 11 Cer­tifi­cate II Elec­trotech­nol­ogy class from Kar­ratha Se­nior High School went head-to­head in the WorldSkills VETiS Elec­trotech­nol­ogy Com­pe­ti­tion.

The 10 Year 11 stu­dents spent the af­ter­noon as­sem­bling a printed cir­cuit board, or PCB, that in­di­cates volt­age lev­els through the colour of an LED light.

They were judged on com­po­nent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, skill and abil­ity, and ac­cu­racy.

The Pil­bara re­gional com­pe­ti­tion is one of sev­eral re­gional en­tries in the na­tional WorldSkills com­pe­ti­tion.

It also marked the first time the com­pe­ti­tion had been open to high school stu­dents, with only ap­pren­tices and trainees al­ready work­ing in the industry able to com­pete in past years.

The top three stu­dents, to be an­nounced this week, will at­tend a medal cer­e­mony in Perth next month, be­fore first-placed stu­dent Jake In­namorati goes on to rep­re­sent the Pil­bara at the na­tional WorldSkills com­pe­ti­tion held in Mel­bourne in Au­gust next year.

Pil­bara re­gional ed­u­ca­tion li­ai­son of­fi­cer An­naleise Wil­son said hav­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in the Pil­bara was im­por­tant.

“We want to be able to com­pete at the same level as ev­ery­one else,” she said.

“We have all the resources we need up here and some of the industry’s best work­ers. We should make the best of what we have.”

Reece Chris­tensen, 16, is hop­ing to go on to an in­dus­trial elec­tri­cian ap­pren­tice­ship with Wood­side or Rio Tinto in the fu­ture.

“It’s been pretty chal­leng­ing so far,” he said of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s some­thing new, and it’s com­pet­i­tive.”

Six­teen-year-old Jake said the WorldSkills com­pe­ti­tion was a good start­ing chal­lenge.

“It’s a good op­por­tu­nity and it is needed, but we need more com­peti­tors,” he said.

“It’s all the same schools here and it would be bet­ter if it was a wider range of com­pe­ti­tion.”

Jake’s win should guar­an­tee him that greater ex­po­sure in the na­tional round.

Judge Mark Ben­don, a Kar­ratha Con­tract­ing project man­ager, said he wished he’d had the same op­por­tu­ni­ties in high school be­cause work­ing in the Pil­bara elec­tri­cal industry could take peo­ple far.

“The range of ex­pe­ri­ences up here is sec­ond to none re­ally,” he said.

“If you ap­ply your­self to this industry, it’s lim­it­less where it can take you. It’s by far the broad­est tech­ni­cal industry there is.”

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School Year 11 elec­trotech­nol­ogy stu­dents Benjamin Turn­bull, 16, Steven Wright, 16, teacher Alun Jones and Jay­dyn Doggett, 16.

An­naleise Wil­son Pic­ture:

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School Year 11 elec­trotech­nol­ogy stu­dents Caleb Oak­ley, 16, and Ryan West, 16.

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