Former TAFE Western Orange College welding student Jacob Offner has set his sights on success in the WorldSkills Nationals finals in Melbourne in 2016 after upstaging a quality field to win the Macquarie Region qualifier.
Mr Offner, who was a fourth year apprentice with Skillset and Scott Camery Welding at the time of qualification, upstaged 10 other competitors to progress to the next level.
“It was a good feeling knowing that I was the winner of the Macquarie Region competition and that I will now get to compete in the nationals next year in Melbourne,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to competing in Melbourne against some top competition. I think it will be a great experience and something I’ll learn a lot from.”
Mr Offner has vowed to put in as many hours practice as possible before the August National WorldSkills finals, with his eyes set firmly on the top prize.
“I will go away for a week’s training at the start of next year with other competitors and in the mean time I’ll just knuckle down and do as much work as possible,” he said.
“Obviously first prize is the aim.”
TAFE Western Orange College Metal Fabrication and Welding Teacher Paul Honeyman believes with some hard work, Jacob has what it takes to succeed.
“TAFE Western has a proud reputation of achieving success at national and international levels of the WorldSkills competition in welding and I hope Jacob can add to the success we have had previously,” he said.
“Jacob competed in the regional competition two years ago and since then has been very eager to go to the national competition and this opportunity is very well deserved.
“Jacob will undergo extensive training with myself and Nathan Kelly (who gained a silver medal at The Nationals in Perth in 2014) to give him the best possible chance of winning gold in Melbourne.”
If Jacob is successful in Melbourne, he has the opportunity go on to become a Skillaroo and represent Australia in the international WorldSkills competition in 2017 in Abu Dhabi.