In Summary

  • Plumbing apprentice, Danny Hoekstra, has been awarded first place in the 2020 World Plumbing Day Apprentice Skills Contest
  • The annual competition recognises leading skills in industry practice and outstanding merit in vocational education

Swinburne plumbing apprentice Danny Hoekstra has been recognised for his industry knowledge and craft after winning the World Plumbing Day Apprentice Skills Contest for 2020.

In the pipework

The one-day event hosted by Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) promotes professional excellence and has been recognised state wide in vocational education and training.

Acclaimed as a demonstration of outstanding merit in all fields of trade and skill, World Plumbing Day is celebrated globally on March 11 and acknowledges the vital contribution and essential role of experienced plumbing professionals.

Danny was one of eight plumbing and five sprinkler-fitting apprentices selected to compete on a national stage for gold and a chance to advance further to represent Australia at an international level at the United Association International Apprentice Skills Contest in the USA.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed and couldn't believe it. I feel extremely proud of this achievement,” says Danny.

Earlier this year in March, PICAC recognised the occasion with an event held in Brunswick, hosting a variety of interactive workshops to practice industry skills and knowledge and to complete simulated installations.

Beginning at a regional level the competition was held over the span of seven hours. The young tradesmen competed for the opportunity to showcase and benchmark their skills and advance onto a national level.

“It's a great day to meet people in the industry and definitely will look good on a resume whether you win or just participate,” says Danny.

Danny was supported in his training leading up to the event by a network of staff and peers, including his experienced plumbing mentor and teacher, Paul Burke, pre-apprenticeship teacher Brendan Hooker, and former Manager of Swinburne Start, Linda Kearley.

“My teachers have always been happy to go above and beyond the call of duty to help myself and other students in regards to advice and extra support with learning,” he says.

Throughout my apprenticeship, there was always encouragement from several teachers to partake in extracurricular activities like this”.

Raising Expectations

Swinburne is a proud partner with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare’s ‘Raising Expectations’ project, which aims to help young care leavers access further education.

Danny’s education journey began at Swinburne through the Try-a-Trade program in 2016, later allowing him to build connections through the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC).

Swinburne offers academic support programs, pathways to further study, and other short courses to prepare and support students who have experienced foster, kinship, residential or permanent care.

In 2018 Swinburne’s Croydon campus hosted the Apprentices Skills Competition, presenting students from five TAFEs to showcase their skills to industry and each other - watch the video.

Although Danny is unable to travel on to the 2020 International Competition in the USA due to COVID-19 lockdown, he has continued to pursue his Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services at Swinburne. 

Danny hopes to continue to exploring opportunities to expand his skillset and broaden his experience in the plumbing industry going forward in his apprenticeship.

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