TAFE NSW - Western Institute hosted the Macquarie Regional WorldSkills Challenge in Painting and Decorating in Orange. The competition tests the skill levels of apprentices as they complete projects designed by industry specialists who set very high standards.
The eventual winner of the challenge was 19 year old Orange apprentice Kyle French. Kyle is employed by Central West Group Apprentices and his host employer is Wayne Wilson in Orange. Kyle finished only 0.5 of a mark in front of fellow Orange apprentice Andrew Abbott, whose employer is K & B Youse of Orange. Third place was awarded to another Central West Group Apprentices employee, Tim Nightingale from Bathurst.
Because the final marks were so close, a third judge was summoned to scrutinise the completed projects before a winner was announced. Chief judge Sean Alexander said, "It was impossible break the deadlock".
Mr Alexander who is a TAFE Painting and Decorating teacher at Orange campus went on to say, "The skills level of the placegetters was extremely high, and because of the closeness in marks both French and Abbott will undergo extensive training before a representative is named to compete in the National WorldSkills Competition in Sydney next year."
WorldSkills Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which has operated for 25 years, highlights young Australians' skills excellence through trade competitions. These are unique opportunities to showcase the talents of apprentices, trainees and other vocational education and training students at regional, national and international levels.
At each WorldSkills event each competitor works on a specially designed project within a timeframe. The events enable competitors to gain recognition for their work skills and provide an opportunity to work with industry experts and meet new people.
TAFE NSW - Western Institute has a good track record in National and International WorldSkills Competitions. At the 2006 National Competition in Melbourne of the 40 medals won by NSW competitors, nine went to students from Western Institute.