Dreams come true for talented tiler

Last year, Taylor Samson was a VET Student at Newman Catholic College, enrolled in the Dream Factory program. This year, he is on track to represent his state in Melbourne.

Coordinated by Paul Baker, who works with Onsite Education and Training, the Dream Factory program is an initiative created with Polytechnic West which enables students from a number of catholic schools to complete the Certificate II in Construction Pathways. The program runs for 12 months and gives school students practical exposure to a number of construction trades, including bricklaying, plumbing, plastering, electrical and wall and floor tiling.

When Taylor was offered the opportunity to work at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition assisting in the Try’a Skill area, he jumped at the chance. He worked with other Dream Factory students assisting on the very busy “construction line” activity, run by Polytechnic West. Over the course of the weekend he helped hundreds of visitors cut and lay tiles to construct a plant holder – and his efforts did not go unnoticed.

He was talented-spotted at the event by employer HIA, who offered him an apprenticeship in Wall and Floor Tiling. He is currently completing his Certificate III and when this year’s WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions were held at the Skills West Expo, Taylor was there again – but this time as a competitor.

Taylor competed in the Perth North Regional Competition under the watchful eye of Ron Simeon, Wall and Floor Tiling Expert for WorldSkills Australia. His impressive final score secured him the gold medal and will place him in good contention for a spot in the WA Squad who will compete in Melbourne in 2016.

“There are only a handful of specific VETiS WorldSkills Australia Competitions at present”, explains Fiona Johnson, WA State Manager for WorldSkills Australia, “so the experience that Taylor was able to get working in a public arena on the previous year’s WorldSkills Australia Try’a Skill would have helped him at competition.

“Last year, our Wall and Floor Tilers did very well at National level, with WA scooping the gold and bronze medals. I am confident with talent and enthusiasm in the team like Taylor’s we will be able to defend our impressive track record in October next year!”