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We've got the skills

They're like the Olympic Games for tradies. Competitors from over 50 different nations collectively descend upon a host city to release a lot of sweat, tears and emotion.

Welcome to the 43rd WorldSkills Competition.

This biennial tournament showcases vocational trade and industry. For five days in August, the best of the best in each country pitted their skills against each other for highly-coveted gold, silver or bronze medals.

This year, the high-spirited jousting took place in Sao Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere. Australia's team – the Skillaroos - comprised 26 talented young men and women who had qualified for this Brazilian adventure of a lifetime by taking home gold from last year's National Competition held in Perth.

With so much talent and skills under one huge roof, WorldSkills is always an unbeatable opportunity to showcase Australian industry to the world. And 2015 was no exception. The Skillaroos represented industries as diverse as car painting, fashion technology, jewellery, cabinetmaking, web design and bricklaying.

Two TAFE NSW students managed to take home medals. Western Sydney Institute's Harlan Wilton was awarded silver in Web Design. And Illawarra's Sam Spong picked up bronze for his bricklaying skills.

Technical Delegate for the Australian team, Brigitte Collins told WorldSkills Australia that "it's been an amazing journey watching the competitors arrive from day one", a sentiment that the team's many support staff and well-wishers have agreed with. Competing with the world's best can have enormous personal as well as professional benefits.

The competitors have returned home, tired but elated. However, the fun's not over yet. Today, Monday 24 August, marks the beginning of National Skills Week, which means our young and skilled tradies will be spending even more time in the spotlight.

This year's National Skills Week theme will embrace and bring into focus the skills needs associated with Australia's emerging areas of opportunity. The skills shortage is an area TAFE NSW is passionate about and we encourage Aussies setting out on their career path or looking for a rewarding career change to develop ‘hands-on' skills that will give them greater prospects.