TAFE NSW Moruya carpentry student, Jack Hirst, will represent NSW against some of Australia's best young carpenters at the WorldSkills National competition in Melbourne this month.
The WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships will see over 500 vocational students converge in Melbourne over three days with their eye on a coveted gold medal.
Batemans Bay's Jack Hirst is the only TAFE NSW student from the South Coast and Far South Coast to be competing in the national event.
WorldSkills hosts regional, national, and international competitions which celebrate excellence and showcase vocational educational and training.
Winners from the Nationals are in the running to be selected for the Australian Skillaroos team to compete against more than 75 countries. The international championships have run every two years since 1950.
Mr Hirst said he was keen to show what he's got after months of mentorship by his TAFE NSW mentor Anthony Hybinett, as he prepares for the most grueling competition of his life.
"It's pretty crazy to be representing the state in the Nationals," Mr Hirst said.
I entered the regional competition because I thought my boss would be happy with me sharpening my skills. I didn't expect to win and go on to the national competition."
Mr Hirst works for Ralston Building, based in Batemans Bay, and said the company had been supporting him along the way.
As part of the competition, Jack will be given plans for a project he must build.
The first time he will see the plans will be on the day. To score well, his accuracy must be within a tolerance of one millimetre, and he will be working against the clock to interpret the plans and build the object as accurately as possible.
"This competition is great for apprentices who really want to fine tune their hands-on skills. I'm a lot more particular about my work now," he said.
TAFE NSW Executive Director Education and Skills, Kerryn Meredith-Sotiris, said Mr Hirst had earned the right to compete to represent Australia after winning in his category at the State WorldSkills competition.
"The ultimate goal for Mr Hirst will be to earn a place on the Skillaroos team representing Australia at the WorldSkills Competition in France next year," they said.
"WorldSkills competitions provide TAFE NSW students with amazing, and potentially life-changing, learning opportunities. It creates an exciting, interactive, and engaging environment for participants.
"They will learn important life-long skills to help them succeed individually and help deliver a highly skilled workforce."
The WorldSkills Australia 2023 National Championships will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 17-19.