Exceptional welder and TAFE NSW Newcastle student Jacob Barry, has won eligibility to compete in Australia's largest vocational skills competition, 2023 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, this coming August in Melbourne.
Jacob's winning performance against a talented pool of nine students at the TAFE NSW Muswellbrook campus, secured him the gold medal in the Hunter region’s WorldSkills welding competition.
“I went into it thinking WorldSkills will be a great experience regardless of winning, and it will help me build confidence in the skills I’ve learnt and take that into my job, and future employment,” Jacob said.
The competition was whittled down over seven weeks from a pool of 40 contending students, out of around 350 TAFE NSW apprentice welders in the region.
Students had to show advanced welding skills with different welding torches (MIG and Stick) and weld steel to specifications that were inspected and destruction tested.
“It’s a really great learning experience, and builds on the real-world skills we’ve gained at TAFE NSW,” Jacob said.
On his way to winning the welding category, Jacob is studying a Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade with TAFE NSW, preparing for the competition, and juggling his study commitments with his job at Kings Engineering, a leading NSW engineering business.
Jacob also won a $500 Allweld Services voucher to use at the local welding supplier and could find himself on the national stage next year; an incredible accomplishment by the talented 20-year old from Raymond Terrace.
Second place went to Anthony Baker, 33, from Muswellbrook, a third-year welding apprentice working for MMS Engineering—who took home a silver medal and $200 Allweld Services voucher donated by the welding goods supplier.
And third place was taken out by Jacob Macfarlane, second year apprentice working for the Norsu Group—winning an automated welding helmet and bronze medal.
The top three are studying Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade when welding skills are high in-demand locally with strong industry consultation and collaboration helping TAFE NSW supply this critical skill set for the region.
“It’s great to see the students competing and demonstrating how much they have learnt in their trade,” Chris Orlowski, Head Teacher Engineering Trades, TAFE NSW Muswellbrook campus said.
“The technical skills they demonstrated with high-quality welds and presenting a final product at tradesperson level are sought after by local engineering firms, Hunter’s mining industry, and manufacturing across Australia,” Chris said.
WorldSkills competitions are now running regionally across Australia, in 34 regions.