Journey to Excellence: WorldSkills 2023 through Clint's Lens

Clint Giddings travelled to WorldSkills National Championships with his team of NSW participants and with his vast skill was able to mentor and guide them to success.

Clint Giddings and the NSW team - 2 girls and a boy. Clint Giddings and the NSW team - 2 girls and a boy.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre recently hosted nearly 170 students, apprentices, and trainees from New South Wales, all eager to showcase their skills and talents at the WorldSkills National Championships. This event, Australia's premier vocational education and excellence competition, brought together participants from across the country to compete in various trades, from automotive mechanics to welding and primary industries.

During the three days of competition, participants are divided into categories, to complete tasks related to their skills, and are judged by experts. NSW Apprentices and Trainees after the competition in their retrospective categories were awarded a remarkable 57 medals in a wide array of disciplines and showcased skills and determination on the grand stage!

One of the highlights of the championships was the hotly contested VET Shield, awarded to the state with the highest proportion of participants placed in a category. It was a proud moment for New South Wales, the dedication and talent displayed by individuals was truly remarkable.

Clint Giddings, a Training Awards Ambassador and correspondent for Training Services NSW, inspired and guided his team of NSW participants to achieve great success at WorldSkills through his exceptional mentoring skills.

Clint was the VET construction teacher and careers adviser at Blayney High School from 2014 to 2022. Now is the VET Curriculum Project Officer, overseeing construction, primary industries, furniture making, manufacturing, and engineering across New South Wales for the Department of Education. His journey in the education sector has been enriched by various roles, including being the NSW Curriculum matter expert for construction with DoE Skills and Pathways from 2021 to 2022, NESA syllabus writer/reviewer, and NSW DoE Curriculum and Assessment writer/reviewer.

Clint has received recognition for his contributions to the VET sector, including the Industry Collaboration Award in 2022 from the NSW Community and Adult Education (CAA) and the NSW Training Awards VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year 2022. During his time at Blayney High School, he assisted students in establishing their own construction trade training facility, affectionately known as 'Construction Cottage,' and advocated for women in trades through the Girls Can Too initiative. Last year, he also addressed TEN4TEN students during a breakfast event in Orange, where he shared his experiences and insights into career pathways. Now, let's dive into the captivating world of WorldSkills 2023, as seen through Clint’s perspective.

For many participants who travelled from various corners of New South Wales, the journey to Melbourne for the WorldSkills National Championships was not just a competition—it was an adventure. The week was brimming with excitement as apprentices and trainees not only competed but also had the opportunity to network and learn from one another.

Heather White, the Department's VET Curriculum Coordinator for Skills and Pathways, couldn't hide her amazement at the depth and breadth of skills showcased at the championships. Picture an expansive space filled with six football fields' worth of trades on display under one roof. From garden seats crafted in carpentry to walls and pillars built in bricklaying, high tea served in hospitality, and even relaxing scalp massages in hairdressing—there was no shortage of skills on display.

One aspect that delighted many was the increasing number of female apprentices and trainees participating and excelling in non-traditional trades. Two remarkable girls from New South Wales competed in bricklaying, with one of them earning a well-deserved medal.

Clint, as someone deeply passionate about vocational education, was truly blown away by the diverse talents and skills exhibited by the competing apprentices and trainees. Vocational education is a fantastic pathway for individuals of all ages to acquire hands-on skills and forge successful careers.

The journey doesn't end here. Awardees from the WorldSkills National Championships are now set to represent Australia in the WorldSkills International Competition in France next year, where they will continue to showcase their incredible talents on a global stage.

WorldSkills 2023 not only celebrated excellence in vocational education and training but also served as an inspiring platform for apprentices and trainees, employers and stakeholders to explore the multitude of diverse VET pathways available. It was an event that highlighted the incredible potential within our sector and the bright future that awaits those who choose the path of vocational skills and trades post schooling.

Clint reflects on the privilege to witness the VET journeys of his NSW team of competing apprentices and trainees, and looks forward to seeing their continued success in the future!

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