Sparks flew and guillotines chopped away as metal fabrication and welding apprentices competed in the WorldSkills Regional Competition.
At Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, the event officially kicked off yesterday with judges carefully watching on as the apprentices were set the task of completing an oil wagon in seven hours.
The competition will be on across term three, with the institute to run events in construction steel work, automotive, hairdressing, baking, carpentry and plumbing.
Third-year metal fabrication and welding apprentice Hayley Johnson, from North Star Engineering in Nathalia, said it was the first time she had entered a competition such as this.
‘‘I got asked (to enter) by my TAFE teachers and I thought it would be a good idea to advance my skills and get a bit more confident in what I’m doing,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m competing against myself, I just want to make sure I get it done and right.’’
Fellow competitor and fourth-year metal fabrication and welding apprentice Nick Woods, from JN&R Engineering in Kyabram, said the competition was good, though stressful.
‘‘I wanted to get back on the tools which I haven’t been on in a while,’’ he said.
The WorldSkills Regional Competition is regarded as the olympics of the trades and winners go on to compete at a national level.
GOTAFE WorldSkills co-ordinator Callum Ross said the regional part of the competition would be finished by October. The event helped showcase regional talent, Mr Ross said.
Expert judge Richard D’Agostino, from D’Agostino Engineering, said the competition placed a great deal of pressure on apprentices.
‘‘Not everyone is perfect but they all gave it a go,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a privilege to have a shot at this competition, it does take courage to actually come in and do something like this.’’
The regional competition winners are up for selection for the national title in Sydney next year.