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Australia’s best and brightest trainees and apprentices punched above their weight against competitors from around the world to take home a silver and three bronze medals at the WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia.
Over 1350 competitors from 63 countries converged on the Russian city of Kazan from 22 to 28 August to compete across 56 skills.
Fifteen young apprentices and trainees made up Australia’s team – The Skillaroos – and four came home with medals.
Clinton Larkings from Dubbo in NSW was awarded a silver medal in the category of Industrial Mechanics Millwright. Thrilled with his success, Clinton thanked his family for supporting him throughout the competition.
“To start this journey as just a second‑year apprentice manual turner and to learn all the extra skills has just made me a better tradie and has boosted my confidence through the roof,” Clinton wrote on his Facebook page.
“I’m so over the moon at the moment and it’s still sinking in.”
Maxine Colligan from Campbelltown in NSW was awarded a bronze medal in the category of Car Painting and was also presented with a ‘Best in Nation’ award for receiving the highest number of points amongst her Skillaroo team mates.
Patrick Keating from Bendigo in Victoria received a bronze medal for his work in Plumbing and Heating, while Patrick Brennan from Gympie in Queensland was awarded a bronze medal in the category of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
Patrick Brennan said he felt that there was no greater honour than having the opportunity to represent his country on the world stage.
“To gain selection in the Skillaroos team and to represent Australia is a great honour and I hope I’ve made my family, my friends, my work place, my town and my country proud.”
Nine Skillaroos were also awarded Medallions of Excellence, recognising a range of skills from Cloud Computing to Jewellery, Joinery and Automotive Technology.
In the lead up to the international competition, WorldSkills Australia runs skills-based competitions at regional and national levels. The WorldSkills National Championship is Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition, and the Skillaroos Team is selected from category winners.
Skillaroos Team members are supported by their employers and their registered training organisation.