It’s a pleasure to join you virtually and congratulate everyone on another fantastic WorldSkills Australia National Championships.
Thanks to WorldSkills Australia for its important work to encourage and empower young Australians to achieve excellence in their chosen skill or trade.
At the event to celebrate WorldSkills 40th year in June, I enjoyed hearing from former ‘Skillaroos’, who went on to create real business success.. What I learned from their stories is that skills are not just essential to a job, they can forge new opportunities for personal and business growth, they keep our nation moving, giving us hope and confidence in our future while keeping the economy strong.
As the challenges of COVID-19 persist and I hear more and more from young people – who have been hard hit, my appreciation for the role of skilled workers and how they help us in our everyday lives deepens.
I’m encouraging all young people to think about the opportunities that are out there right now. And, I’m encouraging businesses to think about how they can give that young person a go – and events like this, that raise the profile of skills and training pathways can really help land these connections.
Whether you bake your favourite loaf of bread, fix your car, tidy up landscaping in your community or design a website for your business – these skills make our lives easier and our communities stronger.
Skills in less traditional fields like robotics and hydroponics are also in demand, and in my own electorate I have been blown away by the success from young business owners with skills in these fields. They are making huge contributions to advancing Australia’s manufacturing industry.
Over the past three days these championships have showcased the very best of what people have to offer our nation. The wealth of talent displayed by all the young competitors that have taken part fills me with confidence that the future is very, very bright.
As Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services, my priority is to help young people get skills in areas where the greatest demand for jobs exist, both now and in the future.
It is really exciting to know that events like this are helping the future, showcasing skills and encouraging participants to take pride in their skill. This competition has showcased more than 50 trades and skills, from bricklaying and carpentry to cyber security.
As young people to excel at their chosen skill in this competition they also increase their employability.
Just making it to the national competition takes talent and dedication. I congratulate each one of our competitors for stepping up to the challenge.
And for all the supporters that joined online to see the competitors in action — including family, mentors, teachers and businesses — don’t forget to mention how proud you are. Because what we have seen is remarkable.
I’m sure it is a tough task for WorldSkills Australia to choose gold medallists from this talented field, which they have done.
2021 national champions will get the chance to represent Australia as Skillaroos at the 2022 International Competition in Shanghai.
You will follow in the footsteps of teams like the 15 Skillaroos that took part in the 45th WorldSkills International Championships, in Kazan Russia, in 2019.
These ‘Skillaroos’ placed 8th in the world – out of 66 member countries – bringing home four medals and nine medallions of excellence. A phenomenal effort.
The Morrison Government is backing a highly skilled nation into the future. And, it’s great to have events like these, that show just how far VET can take you.
I trust the experience of the national competition has brought everyone one step closer to fulfilling careers and dream jobs.
Congratulations to this year’s national champions and good luck with the next steps towards international competition.
All the best everyone, and take care.