In summary

  • More than a dozen Swinburne VET students participated in the Worldskills showcase of vocational education talent

  • They came from a diverse range of study areas, including trades, design, engineering and technology

  • Worldskills is an international movement to support and promote vocational education for young people.

Emerging young talent in trades, design, engineering, and technology have shown off their skills at this year’s Worldskills competition.

More than a dozen Swinburne Vocational Education and Training (VET) students participated in the annual showcase of vocational education skills in a series of one-day challenges across Victoria during October and November.

With clocks ticking and given specific materials to work with, they impressed judges with innovative creations in their field of study. 

“We’re so proud of the display our students put on at Worldskills,” Swinburne VET Trades and Engineering Technologies Director Bryan Ornsby said. 

“It’s a testament to their motivation for success that they participate in this on top of their regular study and apprenticeships or placements.

“But we also really encourage them to participate in things like this because it’s a great way to hone their skills and make those important industry connections.”

Aiden Pemberton took out second place in the Worldskills landscaping competition

Up to the challenge

First up for Swinburne students in the Victorian regional round were engineering students who used additive manufacturing technology to create 3D models, and then produced components using 3D printing.

Engineering students then participated in a digitisation challenge where they were required to upgrade a drilling machine from and create a more efficient production system with radio-frequency identification (RFID) and programmable logic controller (PLC) programming.

Horticulture students expertly landscaped small plots with plants, grass, pavers and more, according to specific site plans.

Aiden Pemberton took out second place for his creation, and is likely to be invited to the national final next year.

For bricklaying students, the challenge was to design and construct a small fence using various types of bricks and patterns according to a set design. 

Blayde Dajnko was the sole Swinburne representative, and was awarded second place.

Visual merchandising students were given less than five hours to create cabinet displays with set fashion items.

It was a fantastic result for Swinburne’s students, with Imogen Giorgini, Brooke Ward, Olivia Lacey and Kaitlyn Tullberg taking out first to fourth place respectively. 

Due to the age restrictions for the next level of competition, Olivia Lacey will go on to compete at the three-day national round in August 2023. 

Visual merchandising students work on their displays

Valuable opportunities

Worldskills is an international movement to support and promote vocational education for young people.

In Australia, it is run by social enterprise Worldskills Australia and has links to Apprenticeships Australia and Jobs Australia.

Lei Shi, Manager of Engineering in Swinburne VET’s School of Trades, Engineering and Technology, said the competition takes students’ learning outside the classroom, giving them valuable opportunities to put their learning into practice and network with industry.

“The students get motivated because this is really a platform to showcase their capacity and motivation for them to continue with their study,” he said. 

It also provides educators with the opportunity to develop new ideas for course content.

“It helps us to benchmark our learning process by having a look at what other institutes are doing,” he said.

“We also get feedback from industry about what our students are doing and a chance to talk to industry about their needs, so it’s quite beneficial to us.”

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