The nation’s most talented young tradies fly out tomorrow in their quest for gold at the international WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany.
The 31 Skillaroos will represent Australia over four days of international competition, having won national selection as the best in their trade.
Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird said Australia had strong tradition in WorldSkills finishing seventh in the last event in London in 2011.
“I am sure the Skillaroos will do the nation proud as they compete against the world’s best in Germany,” Minister Bird said.
The team will be performing on the big stage as part of a major international competition with 1,000 competitors from 65 countries and expected crowds of more than 150,000.
“I congratulate every Skillaroo for making the team and hope they enjoy this unique experience to showcase their talents, meet new people and learn new skills.”
The Skillaroos come from 28 different skill categories ranging from cooking and hairdressing to carpentry, bricklaying and web design.
The team includes people from regional Australia – like Luke Wray, a tiler from the tiny town of Towrang – as well as those from capital cities, like Jessica Martin, a section waiter in a top Sydney restaurant.
Minister Bird said she knew how hard the Skillaroos worked as a result of personally meeting them at a training camp in Corrimal last November.
“This is the most prestigious skill and trade competition in the world. Each team member has worked for months with trainers, mentors and employers to develop and refine their skills.”
The Gillard Labor Government allocated $1.3 million this year to WorldSkills Australia, which is a non-profit organisation, to support the Skillaroos team.
The Australian team also includes 32 experts, two technical delegates and three team leaders.
Australia has won medals at every WorldSkills competition since 1985, and in 2011 came home from London with one gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
Refrigeration has been Australia’s strongest event, raking in four gold medals over the lifetime of WorldSkills.
For more information about the competition visit www.worldskills.org.au