An apprentice cabinetmaker from Roelands who completed his training at the South Regional TAFE Bunbury campus has been selected to join an elite international team known as the Skills Squad, after winning gold at the recent WorldSkills Australia 2016 national competition.
Nicholas Johnston, 19, will spend the next year training with a dedicated skills mentor, vying for the opportunity to join over 1000 young men and women from 75 countries at the international competition held in Abu Dhabi next October.
Nicholas’s achievement is a coup for the Australian cabinetmaking industry, with the profession experiencing a national skills shortage according to the Australian Government’s National Skills Needs List.
Mr Johnston, who works for Studio Milton in Dardanup, said he was excited and keen to take on the international competition, the opportunities to travel and learn new skills and techniques a definite plus.
He said the national competition required him to carve a display cabinet that featured fitted glass, a door and drawer under an 18 hour time limit over three days.
Mr Johnston said his grandparents initially sparked his interest in cabinetmaking but he learnt the most from his boss Paul Milton, to whom he is very grateful towards.
WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd said he was delighted to reveal the history-making 2017 Skills Squad has the highest female representation in the competition’s history.
“Our recent national competition was a wonderful demonstration of the strengths of Australia’s vocational training system, and displayed what a skills resurgence in our country would look like,” Mr Judd said.
“I can’t wait to see what these young men and women achieve on the international stage.”
The Skills Squad’s first stop on their international journey is a training camp to be held from November 10-13 in Victoria, where the competitors will meet with their skill mentors and develop a training plan for the coming months.
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