Release type: Media Release


Skills Squad to begin training for the “Olympics of the skills sector"

Twenty-three of the nation’s best apprentices, trainees and VET graduates have been shortlisted to the WorldSkills Australia 2018/19 Skills Squad for the opportunity to represent Australia at the WorldSkills International Championships in 2019.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said the 47-strong Skills Squad (which includes industry expert Training Managers), announced today, would have the opportunity to fly the flag for Australia on the global stage.

“These young people and their trainers are fantastic ambassadors for Australia’s world-class VET sector,” Minister Andrews said.

“The WorldSkills International Championships is like the Olympics for the skills sector and is proof that not only is VET providing real skills for real careers, it can give young people a chance to compete overseas.

“I’m also pleased that five young women have made it to the squad for this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Skills Squad members, aged between 17 and 23, are involved in a broad array of disciplines ranging from 3D animation and cloud computing to air conditioning and carpentry, with seven already members of the prestigious Australian VET Alumni.

The team that will eventually head to Kazan in Russia will join others from more than 70 nations competing to be crowned the world’s best in one of 50 disciplines.

Minister Andrews said the Government is working to re-establish VET as a generator of excellence and innovation, and providing young Australians with a clear pathway to developing real skills for real careers.

“The Turnbull Government has allocated approximately $3 billion in support for the VET sector in 2018-19, including through the Skilling Australians Fund and the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program,” Minister Andrews said.

“A strong, flexible and high-quality VET system will have a real impact on our workforce, our communities and our economy.

“I wish the Skills Squad all the best in their endeavours as they strive for selection to represent Australia in Kazan next year.”

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Fast facts:

  • Government has allocated around $3 billion for VET in 2018–19.

  • Includes $1.8 billion in payments to states and territories, including through the Skilling Australians Fund.

  • Includes $1.2 billion for the Australian Government’s own programs, such as Australia Apprenticeship Incentives Program, and Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers.

  • The National Career Education Strategy is under development.