Gympie refrigeration mechanic Nathan Stephens is representing Queensland in a trade skills competition.
Gympie refrigeration mechanic Nathan Stephens is representing Queensland in a trade skills competition. Craig Warhurst

World Skills competition sets stage for Nathan

TSR third-year apprentice refrigeration mechanic Nathan Stephens is in training preparing to pit his skills against the nation's best.

Mr Stephens, 20, heads to Melbourne in May for the three-day national stage of the World Skills competition.

The young apprentice qualified for the national stage of the event after blitzing the competition in June this year at the regionals in Brisbane.

His success means he is Queensland's only representative at the national level of the highly-regarded competition.

The Gympie apprentice admitted to a few nerves ahead of the national competition but took heart from his performance in Brisbane.

There, he was tested on skills such as refrigeration installation, fault-finding and electrical troubleshooting.

Mr Stephens said the electrical fault-finding was more difficult and an area he hoped wouldn't slow him down during the national competition.

"You get a set amount of time to troubleshoot and the quicker you diagnose a problem, the more points you get," he said.

"It's all about speed and knowing how to troubleshoot."

The apprentice said he held an advantage over his city rivals by working in a smaller community.

"Working in Gympie means you have to be versatile and address all types of problems," he said.

"City apprentices specialise more in certain areas so don't get that same experience."

If successful at the nationals in Melbourne, Mr Stephens will represent Australia in Brazil.

Gympie Times


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