Apprentices face challenge of world competition
ANDREW Hosking is proud of Gympie's two entries in Australia's biggest skills competition for apprentices, WorldSkills.
Mr Hosking, a bricklayer by trade, has taken on the role of judge at the WorldSkills National Championships to be held in Sydney early next month.
Mr Hosking said he had no entrants under his patronage at this year's event, but was enthusiastic about the chances of the region's two entrants.
They are TSR refrigeration and air-conditioning apprentice Patrick Brennan and Nolan Meats apprentice electrician Charles Ray.
Mr Brennan, 20, who doubles as a hot Gympie speedway driver when he is not too busy cooling things down, said it would be a nervous wait to see who would represent Australia at the international event, to be held in Kazan, Russia, later in the year.
He is in the third year of his apprenticeship and says getting to the finals next month is a big event for him.
Mr Ray, 22, is equally enthusiastic, a quality which helped him get to the final year of his apprenticeship.
"I started at Nolan Meats in Grade 11 and worked in the boning room for two years before I moved into the workshop,'' he said.
"That's when my apprenticeship pretty well started.”
They have been selected by WorkSkills Australia to compete in the 2018 competition.
They will face up to 400 rivals at the event.