As Australians, we pride ourselves on producing more than our fair share of talent, whether it’s in the pool at the Olympics or champions like Jeff Horn in the boxing ring – we punch above our weight.
The bi-annual WorldSkills competition is the automotive service industry’s chance to showcase young Aussie talent.
The competition’s automotive section is open to young tradespeople up to the age of 24 and across five disciplines: Auto Electrical, Automotive Mechanics, Heavy Vehicle Mechanics, Autobody Repair and Vehicle Painting.
Qualifying events are held across Australia, with the most recent (for Autobody Repair) being held in Newcastle last month. Twenty competitors took part for the chance to represent Australia as a ‘Skillaroo’ where they can pit their skills against the best of the best at the WorldSkills International completion held in Abu Dhabi later this year.
Obviously, for the Autobody Repairs competition to take place, vehicle body parts are required. To meet this need, Holden answered the call and came on board this year, donating a large range of panels to be used in Newcastle.
“Holden is serious about the automotive industry; this includes the next generation of industry professionals. We were pleased to provide the World Skills Newcastle event with panels for competitors to paint. I was highly impressed with all the competitors’ skills,” said Damian Cahill, GM Holden Collision Business Manager.
“With the increased complexity in Auto Body structures, it is important to make sure the industry has skilled people to provide repairs when needed. At Holden, we are really focused on making sure the industry has the right information to complete vehicle repairs, but you also need the skills to get this right. WorldSkills is a great way to foster talent within our industry.”
The competition this year had a record number of female competitors including Dusti-Lee Franchi from Stokes and Renk Panel and Paint of Perth South, Western Australia who was selected on the Skillaroos team and will compete in the Vehicle Painting in Abu Dhabi this October.
You too can get on board by following the Skillaroo’s progress towards Abu Dhabi and show your support via the WorldSkills Australia Facebook page: facebook.com/WorldSkillsAU.
Editor: Dusti-Lee Franchi is representing Australia and performed well at the trials in Newcastle recently. We wish her every success in Abu Dhabi.