Win­ning ways

The Advertiser - Careers - - Front Page - CARA JENKIN

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.

Baker Matthew Thorpe com­petes in the 2010 WorldSkills Aus­tralia na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Pic­ture: SARAH REED

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