Mitchell Croke

Training Institute: TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus
Formal Qualification: Certificate III in Signage
WorldSkills History:
Regional Competition 2011: Gold
National Competition 2012: Gold

About me:
From a young age I always had an interest in all things creative. I chose to study Visual Arts at high school and I always seemed to take notice of signage and graphics in the streets, buildings and on particular vehicles. After I finished high school I applied for university as a backup plan and also sent out my resume to all the sign writers in the region. I ended up hearing back from two employers, but was unsuccessful. One of the employers who contacted me happened to be a signage teacher at Illawarra TAFE and he knew someone who was looking for an apprentice. Before I knew it I was offered a job. As it turned out I was also accepted into university but I chose the apprenticeship and have not looked back since.

In short term, I hope to get a job with a motorsport team and do all the signage and sticker work on the racing cars. I am a passionate motorsport fan and it would be a dream job combining two of my passions. Longer term, I would like to get a graphic design degree at university and then open up a sign shop that can specialise in design and creative marketing but also be able to produce signage.

What I enjoy most about sign craft?
The thing I enjoy most about my job would definitely be the variety of work that we do. The signage industry is continually growing and has a wide variety of job descriptions; I also love the fact that no two jobs are ever the same. I enjoy pushing the boundaries with my designs and being able to create something that is different to what our competitors do.

How has WorldSkills helped me?
WorldSkills has helped me gain the confidence I previously lacked. I am now able to go into any situation and know that I can handle the challenge.I now have a lot more confidence in my signwriting capabilities, which I believe has made me a better sign writer.

What type of work experience would you like to undertake in the UK?
I would like to undertake work experience with a motorsport team who has their own sign writing department. In addition to the motorsport goal, I hope to work with a signage company who produce vehicle signage so that I can develop my skills in that area. I am also interested in undertaking some experience at a graphic or creative design firm to further my knowledge of design.

What I would like to get out of this work experience?
From the work experience I am hoping to further improve and sharpen my knowledge and skills in applying vehicle wraps whilst learning other tradesmen’s methods. I’d also like to learn more about the graphic design aspect of the signage industry to again further my skills. Ideally, I would take these skills back to Australia or wherever my career takes me to make me a better sign writer.