Regional trades showdown sparks career confidence boost among VET students

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Queensland’s next generation of tradies are proving it’s never too early to get on the tools as they put their skills to the test. 

School students from across the state have begun competing in Queensland’s WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions as they battle it out for a place at next year’s prestigious  National Championships. 

The competition offers school-aged students the chance to hone their craft and compete against their peers in more than 60 different trade skill categories. 

More than 4000 apprentices, trainees, and students will participate in some categories, with a chance to win gold, silver, or bronze medals.

Under the watchful eyes of expert industry judges, competitors are assessed on their knowledge, practical skills, and employability attributes as they complete a series of tasks that require them to demonstrate their vocational education learning in practice.

The top three students from the nation’s 42 regions will compete the following year at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships, Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition.

Former winner and apprentice sparkie Dylan Redman won his regional competition three years ago. 

He told Build-it that competing at the World Skills competition helped grow his confidence while providing him with mentors and teachings to further hone his craft.

“My experience as a competitor has taught me the value of perseverance. My advice to the competitors is to keep pushing forward, embracing every challenge as an opportunity to grow.”

Electrical apprentice Dylan Redman won the regional competition several years ago

The 4th year apprentice would go on to win the national competition and has since been chosen to represent Australia’s Skillaroos at the WorldSkills international championships later this year.

The Gold Coast resident was recently invited back to judge one of Queensland’s VETiS Electrotechnology categories, the regional contest for school-age electrical students.

“I’ve been invited back as a judge, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see the talent and dedication on display,” Dylan told Build-it.

“It’s inspiring to witness the journey of these young competitors and to be a part of shaping their futures in the field.”

“It’s a privilege to contribute to WorldSkills as a judge and to play a role in fostering excellence in the next generation of electricians.”

The Regional contests will take place across Queensland throughout 2024 and will be hosted by local TAFEs.

A TAFE Queensland spokesperson said the education institution’s world-class training spaces made it the perfect place for students to test their talents.

“Regional competitions are pivotal for WorldSkills Australia, as they provide a competitive and supportive forum for young trainees, apprentices and students to test their skills,” they told Build-it. 

“Utilising TAFE Queensland’s world-class facilities and equipment, competitors will demonstrate their trade skills by finishing a project within the allocated time, testing their abilities, and benchmarking themselves against each other.”

Share This Article
Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.