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TAFE Skillaroos take on the world

05 July 2011


Twenty nine young Australians, of whom 16 are TAFE NSW students, will pit their skills against competitors from 8 other countries as part of the WorldSkills Australia Global Skills Challenge, which began today in Wollongong, New South Wales.

Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said the event brings together 29 of Australia's best young skills champions to compete across a range of skill categories from web design through to bricklaying and cooking.

"These young Aussies will be competing against 51 other skills champions from countries including New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam," Senator Evans said.

The TAFE NSW Skillaroos competing in the WorldSkills Australia Global Skills Challenge are:

Participant Category Institute
Craig Agnew Autobody Repair Hunter Institute
Gustavo Asciutto Painting and Decorating South Western Sydney Institute
Michael Ashton Construction Metal Work Illawarra Institute
Joseph Astorga Cooking Northern Sydney Institute
Guy Brooks Welding Illawarra Institute
Blake Cannell Web Design Western Sydney Institute
Ben Cooper Cabinetmaking South Western Sydney Institute
Kate Crocker Restaurant Service Northern Sydney Institute
Benjamin Houghton Electrical Installations Western Institute
Phillip Little Plumbing and Heating New England Institute
Richard May Landscape Gardening Northern Sydney Institute
Alex Odgers Beauty Therapy Hunter Institute
Andrew Seeley Information Technology Software Solutions for Business Western Sydney Institute
Kye Szeniak Car Painting South Western Sydney
Micheal Theobold Manufacturing Team Challenge Western Institute
Lester Tibbles Bricklaying Western Institute

"The Global Skills Challenge is a four day event which replicates, as closely as possible, the conditions to be experienced by the Skillaroos at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London later this year.

Senator Evans said competitors from more than 50 countries, representing 45 skills areas will compete in London, and the Global Skills Challenge will provide the Skillaroos a valuable preparation and training opportunity.

The team will be defending Australia's current fifth place ranking in London in October.

"Australia will also send a number of its VET teachers to adjudicate at the WorldSkills International Competition in London underlining the fact that Australia's VET teachers are recognised as some of the best in the world.

"Both these events are a great way for Australia to showcase our world-class training in a wide range of skills areas".

WorldSkills Australia is funded by the Australian Government with $1.43 million in annual funding to through a funding agreement for the period 2010-11 to 2012-13.

This funding is used to support skills competitions and a range of additional activities including:

  • operating a VET in Schools program as an integral part of WorldSkills Australia competition cycles;
  • maximising participation in WorldSkills Try-a-Trade activities; and
  • undertaking research to evaluate the role skills excellence competitions play to support the Australian Government VET Agenda.

If you are in the Wollongong area, go to TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus, to witness the Skillaroos in action between 5-8 July.

For more information regarding the Global Skills Challenge:


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