The holiday start could not have been sweeter for Year 12 student Lucas Hammond who made a momentous trip to Perth. Lucas’ trip was the culmination of 18 months of hard work as part of the World Skills Challenge competition which formed part of his experience of VETiS (VET in Schools).
Lucas’ area of expertise is Building and Construction, in which he is currently completing his fourth unit. Building and Construction was one of the 50 trades represented at the competition showcasing some of Australia’s most talented students.
The road has been a long one starting in April 2013 where Lucas successfully won the Regional Final in Ballarat with the manufacture of a basic saw stool. He then went on to further success in the State final inMelbourne in October 2013, where he was asked to manufacture a more complex version of the same piece of equipment. This success afforded Lucas the invitation to the National final which was held in Perth between 18th and 20th September 2014.
During the three days of stressful competition, young people from all over Australia demonstrated their skills in Hairdressing, Jewellery making, Plumbing, Baking and many other disciplines. $30,000 of gold was provided for the Jewellery making section of the competition as well as 300 kilos of chocolate for pastry chefs and at least 20 tonnes of steel for the 500 competitors.
For Lucas to win he had to beat six other highly skilled carpenters constructing a garden arbor with seat. Tim Blee, Lucas’ teacher, said attending the competition with Lucas was a privilege but the stress of watching and not helping was equivalent to having children. However this aside, Lucas was triumphant and won with 80.25 points from a total of 100 with his nearest competitor scoring 77.75 points. Lucas went away with the gold medal and certificate and this will allow him to add to his resume, putting him far ahead of other job candidates.
Lucas has been blown away by this amazing experience and he has had a valuable opportunity to make new friends in a variety of trades. He appreciates the skills he has developed as part of the competition and the confidence it has given him and the doors it has opened to future apprenticeships. Well done Lucas!