Chifley Skillaroo represents Australia at Skills Olympics

A young cabinetmaker from Chifley showcased his skills to the world when he competed in the Skills Olympics in London last week, Federal Member for Chifley, Ed Husic said today.

Ben Cooper was one of 28 talented young Australian tradespeople representing Australia in their chosen trades at the 41st International WorldSkills Competition.

“Ben Cooper competed in the Cabinetmaking category as one of Australia’s brightest and most talented young tradespeople,” Mr Husic said.

“He is an example for other students or young people across the State, who are looking to get into a trade, that anything is possible.

“There are endless opportunities for apprentices and trainees across a range of different skills and traders areas.”

Ben says talking to the judges and competitors involved in WorldSkills has given him greater scope into the industry.

With a woodworker great grandfather and a cabinetmaking uncle, it made sense for Ben to follow his passion for cabinetmaking into an apprenticeship.

He says WorldSkills helps strengthen you and improve your skills by being involved in training and high pressure situations. Through the competition Ben has made great friends and improved his confidence.

Ben likes working with furniture that dates back hundreds of years and hopes to continue in the job improving his skills in antique restoration. Eventually he wants to own his own business making one-off pieces of fine furniture and one day study furniture design.

Mr Husic said Ben was testament to the benefits of working hard and being successful in a career that you’re passionate about.

“I look forward to celebrating Ben’s achievements when he returns from London,” he said.

More than 50 countries competed in this year’s Skills Olympics, which was expected to attract crowds of more than 150,000 people. The Australian team was made up of competitors from 26 different skill categories including restaurant service, fashion technology, car painting and landscape gardening.

Senator Evans said the Skills Olympics fell during Australia’s inaugural National Skills Week.

“National Skills Week is a chance for apprentices and trainees to discover the value of learning a trade,” he said.

“National Skills Week is a time to shine a spotlight on the hundreds of career opportunities and thousands of training places available for Australians of all ages.

“The Australian Government has invested in delivering skills to Australians to help them achieve their full potential and secure a better future.”

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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