Wordskills 2016 (Melbourne)

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Victoria Country’s best young tradespeople gearing up for Australia’s ultimate skills showdown

In eight short months, the next generation of apprentices, trainees and students will face the ultimate challenge as they compete against the nation’s best at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne.

Over 500 competitors from across the country will converge on Melbourne Showgrounds from Thursday, 6 to Saturday, 8 October for their chance to secure the coveted title of ‘National Champion’ in over 50 skill categories.  Among them will be 4 competitors hailing from all corners of the Victoria Country Region.

Kathleen Horton, a florist from Traralgon earned her spot at the National Competition after securing a gold medal in Floristry at the 2015 WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition.  Currently studying at Marjorie Milner College, Kathleen first discovered floristry through high school work experience when she was 15 years old.

“I enjoyed seeing what florists do behind the scenes,” says Kathleen.  “I love being able to express creativity through my work – you can create anything and everything no matter the occasion.”

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Laura Cavallo has also commenced training for the National Competition.  Hailing from Narre Warren North and studying at Chisholm Institute, Laura won a gold medal in Beauty Therapy at the Regional Competition and looks forward to the National Competition.

“I feel honoured to be representing my region at the National Competition,” says Laura.  “I am practicing as much as I can on my family and friends so I can learn as much as possible before the competition.”

WorldSkills Australia Chair Brian Wexham commented, “Opportunities like the National Competition are vital to ensuring that Australians keep up with the demands of modern industry.  Employers are increasingly seeking highly-skilled workers with the ability to be flexible, responsive and adaptable to the requirements of their professions and technology.  Vocational education and training provides young people with practical, hands-on knowledge to meet these demands.

“With a wide range of competitions, skills demonstrations and WorldSkills Australia’s popular Try’aSkill events on show, the National Competition will highlight the career opportunities available through Vocational Education and Training into stunning visual examples to inspire new generations of the Australian workforce.”

For the young hopefuls gearing up to compete, this is an opportunity to reach their potential and achieve greatness.

“I’m feeling very happy and proud to be representing my region at the National Competition,” says Kathleen.  “Sometimes it’s about giving everything you have.  I’m putting everything into it, reminding myself of all the reasons I’m doing floristry and that anything is possible if you believe!”

Key Facts and Figures

* 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne – Thursday, 6 to Saturday, 8 October 2016, Melbourne Showgrounds
* Over 500 competitors from 31 regions across the country
* Over 50 skill categories in Automotive Services, Building & Construction, Client Services, Computing & Business, Hospitality Services, Metals & Engineering and Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS)
* 25,000sqm floor space – greater than the playing surface of Melbourne Cricket
* $10mil worth of materials and equipment, including:
* 8 tonnes of steel
* 10km of cabling
* 80 mannequin heads
* Over 600kg of flour
* Close to 3,250 stems of flowers and foliage
* 300 Judges
* 100 Volunteers
* Estimated economic impact of $20mil on the Victorian economy


WorldSkills Australia is a national, not-for-profit organisation that provides young Australians aged 23 and under the opportunity to gain new skills, compete against their peers in their chosen trade and fast track their skills and career development. Established in 1981, their purpose is to promote and build a skills respect culture by celebrating skills excellence, inspiring young people and providing them with an opportunity to showcase their trade and skill talent. This is achieved through competitions held on a regional, national and international level.

WorldSkills Australia is a member of WorldSkills International – the global network of over 70 countries who participate in skills competitions.

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