Gold medal winner Solomon Gates pictured at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships closing ceremony
Budding young jeweller Solomon Gates not only uses gold in his craft, he now has a gold medal under his belt too.
The Enmore TAFE NSW jewellery student was awarded first place in the jewellery category at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships, in front of hundreds of peers from across the country, last Sunday 20 August.
Held over three days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the prestigious event sees trainees and apprentices go head-to-head in a high-pressure skills competition.
Solomon, who is an second-year apprentice at Saffo Jewellery at Martin Place, said he is still in shock but otherwise over the moon.
“WorldSkills is a big deal in the jewellery trade, so it means a lot to me to win this award. It was a very close competition.
“I actually thought I’d messed up, so it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet that I won.”
The talented Sydney jewellery maker, who says he loves the trade due to the diversity of what you can make, credits both his employer and TAFE NSW mentors for helping him score gold.
"The support I've received from both my teachers at TAFE and my employer is no doubt how I've got to where I am now in my jewellery-making."
TAFE NSW Team Leader and WorldSkills Australia Experts Faculty Associate Member, Troy Everett said TAFE NSW students are in high demand because of the quality of their education and ability to hit the ground running in the workplace.
“Our students winning these awards demonstrate what is on offer for students if they choose a TAFE education,” Mr Everett said.
Gold medal winners are eligible for consideration for the Australian Skillaroos team who will compete with the world’s best at the WorldSkills International Competition finals to be held in France in 2024.
Media contact: Lee Tobin, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0402 087 839.