TOP TRADIE: Delillah Devine, of Goonengerry, participates in the carpentry section of the WorldSkills competition at TAFE NSW Wollongbar.
TOP TRADIE: Delillah Devine, of Goonengerry, participates in the carpentry section of the WorldSkills competition at TAFE NSW Wollongbar. Marc Stapelberg

Young tradies battle it out in 'Olympics for tradies'

DELILLAH Devine stands out at her workplace.

The Northern Rivers resident has worked in the carpentry industry for the past a year and a half.

She said in her short career so far she hasn't come across any other women building.

"I think it's really fun, I enjoy going to work every day. I get to be creative and get paid for it," she said.

"I've always been interested in building and carpentry. The reason I got into it later is one of my school friends offered me an apprenticeship through his dad, and although I didn't get taken on I decided to do it anyway because it reinvigorated my passion for it.

"Then I got signed with my boss after doing a bridging course though Tafe, then got signed as an apprentice after doing some labour work."

Delillah currently works on building houses and wants to master carpentry before moving on the the next trade.

She is one of many students and apprentices participating in WorldSkills competition - dubbed 'olympics for tradies'.

TAFE NSW Wollongbar sought to discover the country's next generation of carpentry, plumbing and welding champions when it hosted the three WorldSkills competitions yesterday.

WorldSkills competitions celebrate excellence while creating opportunities for young people, who are passionate about their skills and training, to test themselves against their peers.

Throughout this year, thousands of apprentices, trainees and students have taken part in one of the hundreds of skill competitions to be held across Australia, in more than 50 skill areas from Cooking and Beauty Therapy to STEM-focused skills such as Cloud Computing, 3D Game Design, and IT Systems and Networking.

Winners of the TAFE NSW Wollongbar WorldSkills competitions may be invited to take part in Australia's biggest skills excellence competition, the WorldSkills Australia National Championships, that will take place in 2020.

Competition organiser and volunteer Jenny Frost said the WorldSkills competitions provides apprentices with a practical way to test their skills and knowledge against others.

"These competitions develop young people's confidence and will really help their job prospects, and we look forward to seeing the talent that our local competitors have," said Ms Frost.

Chair of WorldSkills Australia, Kevin Harris, said: "WorldSkills Australia has a critical leadership role in the development and promotion of excellence of Australia's skills, particularly now as Australia responds to global competition in the 21st Century and the challenges of the Industry 4 revolution".

"WorldSkills Australia is an amazing organisation led by a volunteer governance board and a small but very dedicated executive team. WorldSkills is powered by thousands of volunteers and contributing Australian enterprise and industry association partners, training institutes and government. All demonstrate in real terms, their passion and commitment to the purpose of WorldSkills Australia, the development and promotion of skills excellence," Mr Harris said.