Australia’s best trades and skills superstars in final preparation for international competition in Brazil

With less than a month to go, the 25 talented young trades and skills people comprising WorldSkills Australia’s 2015 Skillaroos team are hard at work training in their respective skills in preparation for the 43rd WorldSkills Competition.

The WorldSkills Competition is the biggest vocational education and skills showcase in the world. The scale and significance of this year’s competition is considerable. Held in Brazil, it is the first WorldSkills Competition to be hosted in South America and will mark the first time São Paulo’s Anhembi Park will be used to host a single event – utilising 213,000m² of competition space – roughly 10 times the playing area of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Approximately 1,200 competitors representing over 60 countries will compete in the hopes of being named World Champion in their respective skills. Australia’s Skillaroos team will compete in 23 skill categories. 17,000 industry professionals will work at the competition, and the pressure will be on as over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the event to watch the competitors in action including an estimated total of 120,000 students.

Unsurprisingly, the output of resources will be impressive. Amongst the many types of materials required, the competitors will use 21 kilometres of duct tape, 92 kilometres of cabling and consume 40,000 KVA of electricity. WorldSkills officials anticipate that 63 tonnes of food will be used to serve 90,000 meals.

The Skillaroos have been busy over the last month with multiple training sessions, where they have been practicing several different competition projects to refine their skills. In addition to the time they have dedicated at home and work, several of the Skillaroos have traveled overseas for additional development opportunities. Included on the list of jet-setting competitors is Skillaroo Harlan Wilton, who will represent Australia at the WorldSkills Competition in the Web Design category. “I went over to China to train with their competitor in a mock competition. It was a very good opportunity to gauge some of my competition and improve my skills,” he said.

He said that the Chinese team was very friendly and welcoming, giving Harlan and his Training Manager, Jarrad Langdon a tour of Shanghai and showing them the best places to sample the local cuisine.

Langdon is impressed with his progress. “He is currently focusing on both the quality and speed of his work and has made a large improvement on both areas when compared to the high standard set at the National Competition,” he said.

“I am extremely happy to see the level of dedication Harlan has provided to his full time training for the upcoming competition.”

On 4 August, the Skillaroos will attend an official Farewell Function at TAFE NSW Sydney Institute, Ultimo College. They will have the honour of meeting Senator Simon Birmingham and Minister John Barilaro, who will speak at the event and present each of the Skillaroos with their own Australian flag. The Skillaroos will also receive words of wisdom from Paralympic swimmer Sam Bramham.

The team will fly to Brazil the following morning and participate in a number of pre-competition activities including meeting officials from the Australian Embassy in Brazil and visiting school children as part of WorldSkills’ “One School One Country” programme before the competition commences on 11 August.

WorldSkills Australia CEO, Mark Callaghan is confident the team will perform well in Brazil. “These amazing young Australians have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time over the past year to their training and development,” says Callaghan.

“Like any international athlete, they have a huge support network behind them. The finish line is in sight, and despite the myriad of emotions they will feel, they need to trust in their training and the mentoring they have received from their training teams. We are very proud of their efforts and look forward to celebrating their success at the competition – success that should be celebrated by all Australians.”

For more information please contact:
Devon LaSalle
Communications & PR Coordinator, WorldSkills Australia
03 9249 1000
0401 221 303