Bendigo TAFE’s plumbing apprentice Patrick Keating will represent Team Victoria in a skills showdown with Australia’s most talented young apprentice plumbers at the 2018 WorldSkills National Championships from 2 to 4 June in Sydney.
The championships will showcase more than 50 skills and over 400 competitors aged below 25. Winners will have an opportunity to represent Australia at the 45th WorldSkills international competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
Patrick earned his spot as a Team Victoria representative following his wins at the WorldSkills Regional Competitions last year.
“I’ve never participated in a skills competition like this. It’s going to be a pretty exciting experience and I think it’ll open up a lot of opportunities for me,” he said.
Currently working at Phoenix Plumbing in Bendigo East, the 21-year-old said a work experience stint in secondary school sparked his initial interest in the field and he’s never looked back since.
“I did some work experience while completing Year 12. I really enjoyed it and got a full-time job as an apprentice from there,” said Patrick.
“TAFE was great as teachers were really supportive and I made a lot of good friends. I never thought I’d be good enough to get as far as I have, but everything worked out better than I expected.”
Bendigo TAFE CEO Trevor Schwenke highlights the significance of WorldSkills competitions in promoting skills and building careers.
“WorldSkills is a fantastic avenue for students to challenge themselves, build networks and access once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to showcase their abilities on a state, national and international stage,” he said.
“It’s also a platform for the next generation of leaders and innovators, with many young people launching international careers through various scholarships available for top contestants.
“Bendigo TAFE is proud to have Patrick Keating represent Team Victoria. He performed exceedingly well at the regional competitions and we wish him all the best at the national championships.”
The WorldSkills National Championships is Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition. This year’s winners will be announced at the closing ceremony on 5 June 2018.