Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business, The Hon John Barilaro MP, and Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson MP, yesterday congratulated TAFE Western Orange welding and fabrication student Cooper Tarrant on making the National WorldSkills finals.
Minister Barilaro and Ms Hodgkinson paid a special visit to Cooper at his workplace, Active Metal Services, spending time with Cooper and key business staff including Director Russell Wallace and Business Development Manager Karen Lees.
Ms Hodgkinson wished Cooper the very best at the National WorldSkills finals to be held in Melbourne in October, as he will face stiff competition from the best young Construction Steel students from across Australia.
“Cooper is clearly a very skilled and diligent apprentice and a credit to the region. We all hope he wins,” she said.
Minister Barilaro said regional NSW benefitted from partnerships between local businesses and TAFE through programs like apprentice training.
“Clearly Cooper’s success is a product of his own diligence and talent, but also the work of his employer and his teachers at TAFE Western,” he said.
Active Metal Services Director Russell Wallace said it was great to have the dignitaries visit the business, taking up the opportunity to discuss his family owned and operated business with the Minister.
“We’re really proud of Cooper’s achievements and it’s great to see him receive recognition for his efforts,” he said.
“It was also nice to have the Minister visit our business. It gave us a chance to discuss our ambitions for the future and hear how he plans to help small businesses in our region.”
Cooper will 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.