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CIT WorldSkills Winners Continue Whirlwind Experience in the UK

Published: 23 Apr 2015

WorldSkills 2014 National Team
The WorldSkills Canberra 2014 National Team. Source: WorldSkills Australia.

Two CIT apprentices who impressed judges at the WorldSkills Australia National Competition last year have won scholarships to the UK to continue their skills development ahead of the main event – the 43rd WorldSkills International in Sao Paulo in August 2015.

Mitchell Cook (WorldSkills Australia gold medallist - plastering) and Oliver Baker (WorldSkills Australia bronze medallist - cabinetmaking), will head to the UK in July, along with 14 other up and coming tradies from around Australia, to participate in the 2015 BBM Skilled Futures Program for leadership and skills development.

The program will give them insight into how other countries do trade skills, and the different practices that are employed. It will also particularly develop their communication, leadership and teamwork skills, to equip them for a successful career that can take them anywhere in the world.

Oliver says he is excited by the opportunity to gain broader experience in his trade. 

"I think the type of work I will be undertaking over there will be a bit different. It will really help to hone my skills and advance my career back in Canberra at Capital Veneering. The opportunity to gain a new experience not available to everyone in Australia is extremely exciting. I feel really privileged to be a recipient of this scholarship."

Mitchell, somewhat of a WorldSkills Australia veteran, is looking forward to the opportunity to travel - something he hasn't had the opportunity to do previously - and working towards his goal of setting up a small business.

They are both grateful for the WorldSkills Australia experience.

"I competed at WorldSkills in 2012 and came fourth. I worked out what I had to do and learnt from my mistakes from that first experience," says Mitchell, the now gold medallist.

"What I did at WorldSkills helped with work, and what I learnt at work helped at WorldSkills. Meeting new people and being part of a great group of people was a highlight."

"WorldSkills has developed my time management skills and taught me how to work under pressure. I would recommend it to anyone," Oliver said.

The BBM Skilled Futures Program is run by BBM Youth Support. By partnering with WorldSkills Australia, this program has provided an international career development pathway for outstanding apprentices since 2000.