TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus cast a spotlight on local tradies last week, with the training provider hosting several WorldSkills Regional Competitions on site, alongside its first ever Trades Connect event.
More than 35 TAFE Queensland apprentices hailing from Gladstone down to Caloundra and as far inland as Monto descended on TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus on Friday, 5 April, in the hope of winning the glory of gold and advancing on to compete on a national level at next year’s WorldSkills Australia national competition.
TAFE Queensland apprentices Jonhas Lawler, Guthrie Maynard, Connor Cole, Michael Menchin and Lachlan McLennan took home the gold medals in Automotive – Light Vehicle, Automotive – Heavy Vehicle, Engineering – Fitting and Turning, Engineering – Construction Steel, Welding, and Electrical Installation respectively, after impressing the judges with their quality workmanship.
Guthrie Maynard wins gold
Automotive – Heavy Vehicle gold medallist Guthrie Maynard said he was proud of his achievement and looked forward to representing Bundaberg TAFE at the national WorldSkills competition.
“I was pretty surprised I won, but it was a great feeling,” Mr Maynard said.
“It’s a pretty big honour to come from a small town and have the opportunity to showcase your skills on such a large scale, so it will be good to have that opportunity.”
The 20-year-old Biloela-based fourth year apprentice, who took out bronze in the regional WorldSkills competition two years ago, said that though the competition had been challenging, he was glad he’d had the opportunity to participate and prove his mettle.
“It was tough and we were close in the final scores, but it was good competition,” he said.
“It’s a good opportunity to put your skills in perspective and see how they stack up to other apprentices in the region.”
Mr Maynard grew up on a farm in Jambin and said it was this upbringing that influenced his decision to pursue a career in diesel fitting.
“I had a predisposed interest in machinery and an apprenticeship came up, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more,” he said.
WorldSkills Queensland state manager Eric Davis congratulated the winners and all of the competition participants.
“WorldSkills works to develop tomorrow’s skills leaders, and these regional competitions play a pivotal role,” Mr Davis said.
“Apprentices and trainees who compete in these competitions gain exposure to the WorldSkills community and a wealth of opportunities whether they take out gold or not, often giving them a leg-up in their careers.”
The gold, silver and bronze medalists were awarded in a presentation on Friday night, as part of TAFE Queensland’s inaugural Trades Connect event – an evening that brought industry together to network and share local opportunities.
The free event also included presentations by the Bundaberg Regional Council, State Department of Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, and the Department of Education, Small Business and Training, as well as industry displays.
For more information about what trades are offered at TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus or how you can work with TAFE Queensland to train your apprentices, call 1300 308 233 or visit tafeqld.edu.au.