Victoria sent a team of 79 young people to pit their skills against the rest of the nation in 50 different VET skill areas also vying to become the “nation’s best” at the WorldSkills Australia National Championship 2018, the largest and most prestigious trades and skills competition for young Australians. Among them, three skillful and ambitious Chisholm students: Matthew DeGroot from Automotive, Ethan Cockerill from Plumbing, and Dana Yap from VETiS Hairdressing.

Dan Yap - VETiS Hairdressing studentHeld from Saturday 2 June to Monday 4 June at ICC Darling Harbour, Sydney, the competition is a celebration of trades, skills, vocational education and training, and above all, industry excellence.

“WorldSkills provides an opportunity and a platform to showcase and bring together Australia’s excellence in vocational skills,” says Stephen Varty, Chisholm’s Chief of Education. “It’s an exciting opportunity for students to engage and compete with other vocational students.”

“Students get to demonstrate their skills, and get a little creative as well,” adds Jacqui Holton-Picard, Senior Educator at Chisholm.

With thousands of students attending and competing over a gruelling three days, adrenaline is high, and excitement can quickly turn to overwhelm. At the same time, it brings out the best in students.

This is something that Dana Yap learned firsthand when she placed second nationally in the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) Hairdressing Category. For Dana, being decorated with a silver medal at the Closing Ceremony last Tuesday was a big deal, and possibly the start of even bigger and better things.

“Getting through to the nationals was prestigious enough,” says Ms Holton-Picard. “But if she decides to compete again, there’s also the opportunity for her to go overseas next year to the international WorldSkills competition in Russia.” 

Competing overseas isn’t, however, the only way to get recognition, or have it make a difference in these students’ careers, says Ms Holton-Picard.

“For all our students, and all participants, this is a great thing to be able to put in your résumé.”