Mentor Spotlight: Hilton Jones

When you think about WorldSkills Australia mentors, one of the first names that inevitably comes to mind is Hilton Jones – a passionate sheetmetal expert who is a true statesman to WorldSkills Australia.

With close to 40 years of industry experience including Head Teacher at TAFE for 27 years, Hilton Jones has built quite the reputation for himself within the sheetmetal industry. “I became a TAFE teacher because I wanted to share my knowledge with young people,” says Jones. “I really enjoy helping young people succeed in life and with their careers.”

Jones first started with WorldSkills Australia as a Convenor and Judge for the Sheetmetal Work category at the Hunter Region’s 1983 WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions. Since then, he has undertaken a variety of roles including Project Designer, Site Manager, Head Judge, Mentor and Training Manager.

“It really is a joy working with these young champions. I always encourage everyone to get stuck into it but to also be careful that they’re not overworking themselves.”

Jones has mentored many young “sheeties” over the years, most recently as the dedicated Training Manager for 2015 Skillaroo Thomas Crittenden.

“You can’t describe how much Hilton gives to WorldSkills Australia in words,” says Crittenden. “Hilton becoming my training mentor has been the best thing for me in my quest for gold in Brazil. He is firm but not too pushy, and constantly there for advice and guidance when I need him. Hilton is dedicated, hardworking, honest, articulate and precise – everything you look for in a mentor. I owe a lot of my success to him.”

“In order for us to be in a position to deliver our programs, WorldSkills Australia relies heavily on the support, dedication, passion and goodwill of many volunteers – volunteers such as Hilton,” says WorldSkills Australia CEO, Mark Callaghan.

“Over many years, Hilton has performed many roles at WorldSkills Australia, often while juggling the demands of his own work and family life. Hilton has always been willing to give up his time to ensure young apprentices and trainees are provided with the best opportunity to strive for skills excellence – the hallmark of the tremendous volunteer spirit that exists in WorldSkills Australia.”

Jones looks forward to accompanying Crittenden to the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil, next month.  “I think he’ll do very well because he’s very focused and dedicated. He has improved greatly, both in his skills and his maturity as well. He’s only a young fella, but he is totally focused on the competition and his career.”