Skills Squad member Brett McPaul adds another trophy to his awards cabinet

Engineering apprentice, Brett McPaul, was singled out to receive a Highly Commended Judges Award at the 2017 HVTC Excellence Awards held in Newcastle on Friday night.

The 20 year old from Albion Park was recognised for his success in Australia’s largest skills and trade training competition.

After taking out the Illawarra regional title, Brett won a gold medal in Construction Steelwork at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and has now been selected as part of the WorldSkills Australia Skills Squad.

Brett is currently in training and hopes to be chosen for the 2017 Skillaroos Team competing at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi this October.

“The national competition was an amazing experience I’ll never forget and the people who were involved will be friends for life. I can’t wait to find out if I’ll have the opportunity to go to Abu Dhabi and compete again,” said Brett

He achieved all this whilst completing his Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication apprenticeship with host employer Buckley’s Plant Maintenance.

“At Buckley’s I’ve had the chance to work with, and learning from, four highly skilled tradesmen who provided me with the opportunity to experience many different aspects of the fabrication and welding industry.

“I’m now looking to further develop my skills so that I can give back to my employers, as well as teach the next generation of metal fabrication apprentices the skills I have learnt from my mentors,” said Brett

What little spare time Brett has outside of his work, study and WorldSkills training is spent indulging his passions for building and custom modifying cars, as well as four wheel driving.

“These are rewarding pastimes as my father also shares my interests. I cherish the time we spend together in our garage, modifying our vehicles, or out in the bush testing out our handiwork.”

Winners in the 10 Excellence Award categories were selected from finalists across HVTC’s ten regional branches located throughout New South Wales.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith says vocational education pathways can lead to career success for many young people.

“These awards not only celebrate the great results of our apprentices and trainees but they also reflect the significant role our business and industry partners play in making sure our young people secure quality employment outcomes,” Ms Smith said.

The Highly Commended Judges Award was sponsored by Howden Australia.