Illawarra apprentice on his way to Abu Dhabi

Talented local engineer, Brett McPaul has been selected to represent Australia at the 44th WorldSkills International competition in Abu Dhabi in October.

After taking out the Illawarra regional title, the 20 year old from Albion Park won a gold medal in Construction Steelwork at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and has now been selected as part of the 2017 Skillaroos Team.

“The national competition was an amazing experience I’ll never forget and the people who were involved will be friends for life. I can’t wait to get to Abu Dhabi to compete again and, hopefully, win gold,” said Brett.

Brett realised in Year 10 that continuing at school was not the right pathway for him so he applied for an apprenticeship with group training organisation HVTC Illawarra.

His WorldSkills success has been achieved whilst completing his Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication apprenticeship with host employer Buckley's Plant Maintenance in Unanderra.

“At Buckley’s I’ve had the chance to work with, and learn from, four highly skilled tradesmen who provided me with the opportunity to experience many different aspects of the fabrication and welding industry.

“I’m now looking to further develop my skills so that I can give back to my employers, as well as teach the next generation of metal fabrication apprentices the skills I have learnt from my mentors,” said Brett.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith says vocational education pathways can lead to career success for many young people.

“Brett’s success is a credit to his talent, dedication and enthusiasm. It also reflects the significant role our business and industry partners play in making sure young people secure quality employment and training,” Ms Smith said.

A fund raising campaign has been set up by WorldSkills to assist Brett with the cost of getting to Abu Dhabi to compete. You can help Brett on his way by donating on his GoFundMe page.