TAFE NSW graduate Harrison Blatch will soon go head-to-head with the best engineering mechanics from around the country at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships.
Harrison undertook a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade at TAFE NSW Orange and completed his apprenticeship with BJ Engineering in Dubbo last year.
The 22-year-old Wellington local will travel to Perth in late August to compete for gold and a chance to represent Australia at the international competition in Shanghai in 2022.
“It’s a bit of a brag at the dinner table,” Harrison laughed.
“I’m actually a little nervous – we’ll see if I can keep up with the best in Australia. It’s nice to know your hard work is paying off and I’m excited to compete. I’m just going to have to practice a lot.”
WorldSkills is Australia’s largest trades and skills competition, giving more than 500 regional winners from across the nation an opportunity to showcase and benchmark their skills on a national stage.
Harrison will undertake a series of practical tasks based on a set of engineer’s drawings in a specified time. He will need to demonstrate the use of traditional hand tools as well as computerised industrial machining equipment and is confident his TAFE NSW skills will stand him in good stead.
“The TAFE NSW teachers had heaps of industry knowledge and were open to us asking lots of questions and discussing their own life experiences, which was fantastic for us students,” Harrison said.
“I learnt a lot of practical industry skills; the teachers jammed a hell of a lot of information into those classes.”
Harrison was accepted into university but says he’s grateful he took the advice of a mate and decided to study at TAFE NSW instead.
“I’m a very hands-on kind of guy, I’ve been around motors and engines all my life, and I love to be practical and be on the tools and make things,” Harrison said.
“I’m really glad I switched to TAFE NSW and went down that road because I’m a problem solver, and when I don’t know something, I love to tackle the problem and figure it out.
“The TAFE NSW teachers gave me the freedom to do that and taught me skills I wouldn’t have picked up anywhere else.”
Harrison has now moved to Bathurst and is working full-time with Jake’s Hydraulics & General Engineering.
“I had over 10 job offers in the last year of my apprenticeship – our skills were really sought-after,” he said.
“That’s an absolute credit to the TAFE NSW teachers.”
Jake’s Hydraulics & General Engineering owner Jake Graham said Harrison made a good first impression.
“I was 100% impressed right from the start – he’s highly skilled for a young fellow,” Jake said.
“I have three TAFE NSW apprentices also working here. There’s never been a better time to get a trade than now.”
Pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW and explore hundreds of courses now available. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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