Seven tradies bring home medals –
SEVEN of the best young tradespeople in the nation call South Australia home and are providing a bright future for their industries.
Bakers, plumbers, administrators and signwriters are among the seven SA medal winners at the national WorldSkills Australia competition in Brisbane this week.
Elbio All About Sweets baker Matthew Thorpe, Sign Class signcrafter Ben Plummer and ForestrySA executive administration assistant Sarah Diegmann won gold medals in the competition to be proclaimed the best young tradespeople in their field.
Adelaide 5 Star Plumbing plumber Alex Kulikovsky and Angove Family Winemakers turner Bryce Eagle won silver medals.
The Gully Meat Services butcher Scott Johns and Aldersey Engineering fitter Ben Hooper won bronze medals.
A total of 500 entrants aged under 24 years from 30 regions across the country took part in WorldSkills to find the best of the best young skilled workers in their fields.
The competition also recognises the skills young workers are achieving as they work towards becoming qualified in their trades.
Entrants competed in practical tests tailored to their industry which are held over three days and are designed to show off their skills against international benchmarks and employability.
Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology Department chief executive Raymond Garrand says the SA team of 39 competitors brought home a ‘‘phenomenal’’ haul of medals.
‘‘It shows the level of high-quality vocational education and training available in South Australia, particularly at TAFE SA, where all our medallists were trained,’’ he says.
‘‘It is pleasing to see just how skilled our young tradespeople are in South Australia.’’
Three competitors from the Spencer Gulf region, 12 entrants from the South-East area and 24 tradespeople from Adelaide took part in the national competition.
They were deemed best in the state in their categories, which ranged from traditional trade work such as construction and automotive to retail and beauty therapy, during regional competition stages held last year.
Mr Thorpe says he loved baking when he was young and the passion has led him to complete a school- based traineeship and apprenticeship in the field.
‘‘I enjoy the more traditional artisan breads. It’s an area I’m trying to get into more and learning more about that,’’ he says.
‘‘But I enjoy everything in baking in small doses.
‘‘Once you do large amounts, it starts becoming mass production.’’
The medallists now have the chance to compete in the International WorldSkills competition to be held in London in October, 2011, as part of the Team Australia Skillaroos, which is ranked fifth in the world.