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TAFE NSW apprentice puts signage trade on national stage


TAFE NSW apprentice puts signage trade on national stage

Sydney winner Tom Minchew proudly shows off his gold medal

TAFE NSW Ultimo Signs and Graphics student Tom Minchew will compete against the country’s best up and coming signs and graphics apprentices in Melbourne next month.

WorldSkills hosts regional, national and international competitions which celebrate excellence and showcase vocational educational and training. Winners from the Nationals are in the running to be selected for the Australian Skillaroos team to compete against more than 75 countries. The international championships have run every two years since 1950.

More than 500 vocational students will compete in Melbourne over three days with their eye on the gold medal and a chance to represent Australia on the world stage in France next year.

Tom, a signage apprentice at Royal Sign Co in Caringbah, said his anticipation was building as he prepares to test his practical, creative and analytical skills across three days of rigorous competition.

“I’m a little nervous, but I know that I can trust myself to give the competition a red-hot go, thanks to the experience I’m getting in my apprenticeship and the mentorship of my TAFE NSW teachers.

“I’m used to working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment because my work specialises in event-based signage for some big clients. I have to be versatile and adaptable every day at work so that we can deliver high-impact results in short timeframes to meet the client’s needs, so even though the tasks in the WorldSkills competition might be challenging, I’m confident that I can focus and bring my best.” 

Tom admitted he didn’t know much about sign manufacturing before starting a Certificate III in Signs and Graphics at TAFE NSW but said he’s enjoying the variety of work in the trade.

“Signage is a relatively unknown trade, but once you realise what it is, you realise how big it is – almost every business in the country relies on some form of signage to drive sales or improve customer experience.

“I’m stoked that I came out on top in the regional WorldSkills competition, because it means I’m doing well in my creative, analytical and practical skills, just like working in signage. It just goes to show all my practice designing, printing and installing at TAFE has set me up for success in the workplace.”

Tom is one of 13 students from TAFE NSW Ultimo competing in various skills in the national competition – the largest cohort from any TAFE NSW campus.

TAFE NSW Executive Director Education and Skills, Dr Raf Marcellino, said WorldSkills is Australia’s largest vocational education and excellence competition.

“The ultimate goal for Tom will be to earn a place on the Skillaroos team representing Australia at the WorldSkills Competition in France next year." 

“WorldSkills competitions provide TAFE NSW students with amazing, and potentially life-changing, learning opportunities. It creates an exciting, interactive and engaging environment for participants. They will learn important life-long skills to help them succeed individually and help deliver a highly skilled workforce.” 

The WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 17-19 August.

There are 13 students from TAFE NSW Ultimo competing at the WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships. To arrange an interview and imagery, contact the TAFE NSW Media Team.

Local student

Skill Competition

Joshua Anderson

Auto Electrical

Robert Polito

Autobody Repair

Dylan East

Automotive Mechanics

Nickolas Abela

Automotive Refinishing

Lachlan Argent

Automotive Refinishing

Charlotte Fleming

Beauty Therapy

Zachary Youssef

Cloud Computing

Eddisson Munoz


Holly Oates


Max Hunter

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Jacques Sourintha

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Tom Minchew

Signs & Graphics

Timothy Schon



Media contact: TAFE NSW Media Centre,, 02 7920 5000​​​​.