Just two days after apprentice diesel fitter Lochie Anderson returned from an overseas holiday, he tried his hand at competing in the WorldSkills Regional Heavy Vehicle competition – and won.
Lochie, 22, a CQUniversity-trained fourth-year diesel fitting apprentice with the Gladstone Ports Corporation, took out the event which was held at the Rockhampton City Campus recently.
“I didn’t expect to win,” Lochie said.
“I’d just got back from overseas and had only had a day of rest when I went in to compete.”
Lochie and the nine other competitors battled it out in a series of tests, looking for electrical, hydraulic and mechanical faults in a range of heavy vehicles.
“I’d done a bit of study before I competed, but some of it was still pretty challenging – I hadn’t done much on air brakes before,” Lochie said.
“It was a learning experience more than anything for all of us.”
Lochie was excited about the prospect of competing at the WorldSkills Nationals in Heavy Vehicle in 2018, something he never dreamed of doing when he first decided to become a diesel fitter.
“I’ve always just enjoyed pulling machines apart and seeing how they work,” he said.
“I did all of my trade training with CQUni in Rocky and it was good. It’s good to have the technical knowledge with the hands on skills.”
He said he would like to stay on and work in the Gladstone region once he finished his apprenticeship, but he was also considering pursuing work overseas.
Competition co-ordinator and CQUniversity Discipline Manager for Automotive and Heavy Diesel Fitting Brad Stallard said all the participants gained a lot of new knowledge during the event.
“All of them entered in the spirit of competition and the results showed they put a lot of effort into it,” he said.