Another golden era for Red Bend

Red Bend Catholic College students have taken gold and bronze in the national WorldSkills Primary Industries competition.

Jacob Zieltjes (gold) and Alex Clifton (bronze) were two of nine finalists in their category at the 2018 WorldSkills National Championships, and took out two of the top three placings. 

It’s a real coup for the College – the fifth time in a row a Red Bend student has claimed the biennial challenge’s top prize.

The Primary Industries competition tests students’ skills in fencing, machinery operation, livestock, animal husbandry and chemical calibration.

Jacob said they had to learn several new skills and brush up on others to prepare for the competition.

Alex said the tasks were fairly straightforward, but putting their skills into practice was challenging.

There were both individual challenges as well as tasks where students had to work together, such as stock handling.

Red Bend Agriculture teacher Col Hawthorn said both students had been honing their skills with the help of Agriculture Assistant Andrew Norton-Knight in the lead-up to the championships.

He added this year’s titles were particularly competitive with only one point separating second place and fifth place.

Alex said it was a good experience and fun to take part in the championships.

“I definitely recommend others give it a try,” Jacob said.

Both Jacob and Alex competed as VET in Schools (VETiS) students and will not continue on to the 2019 WorldSkills International Competition.

Long term, Jacob hopes to complete an apprenticeship in diesel machining, while Alex hopes to work towards an agronomy degree.

​The championships are part of the Skills Show Australia 2018.

They attracted more than 400 competitors and an international audience.

Worldskills is held every two years and is open to apprentices, trainees and other vocational students aged 16-24. 

Eugowra’s David DeLange, an apprentice with MidPro Engineering, won silver in the fitting category (his story in last Tuesday’s Advocate).

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