Where are they now? Vehicle Painter Stuart Aisbett

Sometimes life can be strange… you start down one path and end up on another and without really realising it you are living the dream.

This is what happened to Vehicle Painter Stuart Aisbett.  After finishing high school and not keen to head to Uni because “I’d had about enough of the paperwork at school”, he applied with Moe (Victoria) based Alan’s Panels for a role as a Panel Beater.

It was here that the first deviation to life’s path happened as the business decided they wanted a Vehicle Painter instead and offered that role to Stuart. So he changed direction and accepted the position.

While studying at Kangan Batman TAFE in Richmond, his teacher told him about “this painting competition coming up.” This turned out to be a WorldSkills Regional Competition and he thought; “it would be a good opportunity to compare myself to all the other guys and girls out there. Plus it would be good on the resume, so along I went”.

After winning that competition Stuart “kept moving on from there”.

The National Competition was a bit of a “step up”, but he rose to the challenge and won Gold.

The next step up was for the International Competition in Japan in 2007. “This was a hard year-long journey.

Under the guidance of his Expert, John Hunter from TAFE NSW Hunter Region, Stuart undertook “lots of training and preparation, but also improving my skills,” he said. “And then all of a sudden 12 months to training turns into 20 hours of work and it’s all done and dusted (at the International competition).”

Stuart looks back on this time as not only really giving his skills and experience a boost, but also opening new doors such as getting to visit places and experience things he would otherwise never get to do.

The next life diversion came when Sturt was looking for his next challenge after Japan. He contacted Axalta (then called DuPont) who had partnered with WorldSkills during the competitions. “I thought I’d get in touch and see if anything was happening.”

Stuart was appointed as a Technical Consultant a role he saw as being a great ‘stepping stone” to reaching his ultimate goal of being a trainer having been inspired by the educators he worked with during with journey with WorldSkills.

Stuart has been the Victorian Trainer for Axalta for almost five years. He runs the training facility upskilling Apprentices and Trades People alike in how to use the latest Axalta paints and coatings and Segola spray guns.

“With WorldSkills, the experience I gained and the contacts I made, went along to helping get to where I am now.”

Stuart’s advice to anyone considering their next step in life “get out there and give it a go. Decide what you like and what interests you and look for this in your career.”