Lakes Entrance 21-year-old, Amber Gabelich, who currently works at GP Motors as a spray painting apprentice, won bronze in vehicle painting at the WorldSkills National Championships last month.

Competing at the International Convention Centre in Sydney last month, Amber faced some of the best up and coming Australian tradespeople as part of Skills Show Australia 2018.

“I was quite surprised. I didn’t think that I would get a medal,” Amber said.
“I had an absolute ball. It was so much fun.”

Amber was one of 14 Victorians to come back with a medal and one of 150 medal winners across 50 trades and skills, ranging from carpentry, autobody repair and mechanics, fashion and jewellery design through to skills of the future including cloud computing and 3D game design.

Held every two years, the National Championships are open to apprentices, trainees and other vocational students aged between 16 and 24.

Victoria’s gold medallists were Zak Biggin (fitting), Thomas Neave (joinery), Andrew Manson and Ben Wilson (landscape construction), Joshua Hem and Sebastian Mollison (mechatronics), Patrick Keating (plumbing and heating), Hayley Kellett (retail baking– bread) and Jack Lee (construction).

As a medallist Amber could also be chosen to join WorldSkills Australia’s Skills Squad and represent Australia at the WorldSkills international competition in Kazan, Russia, in 2019. The Skills Squad will be announced in August.

WorldSkills Australia chief executive officer, Brett Judd, was thrilled with how the even went and congratulated all competitors for their hard work.

“The Skills Show attracted over 1000 competitors and competition officials along with tens of thousands of local, interstate and international visitors, including a delegation from Russia,” Mr Judd said.
“It created life-changing opportunities for the competitors and was a celebration of the strengths of Australia’s vocational training system.”

WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes that skills drive people’s future, and Australia’s prosperity. Since 1981 WorldSkills Australia have been the leading voice for skills excellence in vocational, technological and service oriented careers in Australia.

This article first appeared in the Lakes Post, June 13, 2018.