TAFE Western Orange welding and fabrication student Cooper Tarrant has earned the right to pit his skills against the best young welders in Australia at the prestigious National WorldSkills Competition in Melbourne in October.
Cooper, who lives in Cowra and is a second year apprentice locally at Active Metal Services, will represent the Macquarie region in the national finals after successfully winning the regional WorldSkills Construction Steel section in Orange.
A humble young Cooper admits he only entered the regional WorldSkills Competition because his TAFE teachers ‘encouraged him too’, but his employer, Craig Wallace from Active Metal Services, believes the win was well deserved and recognition of his immense talent.
“Cooper’s welding skills are of a high standard and an integral part of our production of agricultural equipment and structural steel jobs,” he said.
“Cooper started to learn about welding from his dad when he was only eight years old and undertook night classes as soon as he was old enough.
“Active Metal Services took Cooper on as an apprentice at 15, and he’s now 17. It’s very rare for someone so young to possess the skills and work ethic that Cooper has.
“The WorldSkills Competition is a unique opportunity for Cooper to showcase his skills, set goals, build confidence and celebrate victories.”
TAFE Western Head Teacher Engineering West Paul Honeyman described Cooper as a great student who always takes pride in his work. He expects that he will equip himself well against a top quality field assembled from right across the country.
“Cooper possesses the skills and knowledge to do well at the National WorldSkills Competition because he is calm and collected. Cooper doesn’t panic under pressure which will be a big advantage because this competition can be highly stressful,” Mr Honeyman said.
“TAFE Western’s Metal Fabrication and Welding teachers will be there to support Cooper throughout his training and the competition to hopefully bring home a gold medal.”
Mr Honeyman said Cooper would now attend a training camp at Tamworth in June to fine-tune his skills and give him the best possible chance of success in the national competition.
While initially reluctant to compete in the regional WorldSkills Competition, Cooper admits now he’s made the national final, he is going to Melbourne with a singular goal – to win.