Young Western Australian apprentices and students will have a chance to test their skills on the international stage, after taking honours in one of the biggest and most prestigious skills and trades competitions in the world.
Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey congratulated five West Australians who were selected to join the 25-member Australian skills squad.
They will have the opportunity to represent Australia in the WorldSkills International Competition in 2017 in Abu Dhabi.
Ms Harvey said as members of Team WA, the students’ selection in the training squad followed their success at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Melbourne recently.
“Team WA returned home with a medal tally of 27, which included eight gold medals, 10 silver and nine bronze. This is a tremendous achievement for our young apprentices and students, and one of which they can all be very proud,” she said.
“Team WA took out more than 17 per cent of the overall medal count, which is exceptional from a population the size of WA. I applaud all of our competitors for their dedication and commitment to achieving their best.”
The 2017 skills squad includes Nick Johnston, who won a gold medal in the cabinet making category; Dusti-lee Franchi, who won gold in vehicle painting; Brody Young-Steedman, who won gold in cookery; and Chris Williamson, who won gold in graphic design technology.
The fifth Western Australian member is Hannah Alexander, who will compete in the jewellery category. Hannah was not a medal winner in the national competition but her determination to succeed earned her a place in the skills squad.
Members of Team WA were among more than 500 skilled young people from across Australia competing in one of 50 different trade and skills categories.
WA fielded its biggest team yet for this year’s national event, with almost 80 competitors vying for honours in 40 categories.
This included a record number of competitors in Vocational Education and Training in Schools categories.