21-year-old Chris Roberts is new to the landscaping world, but he could just be skilled enough to dominate it.
The third-year TAFE student and Kingswood local is about to show what he’s got to offer at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia competition in Melbourne, in hopes to be Landscape Construction’s national champion.
Mr Roberts will be competing alongside a fellow classmate from the Ryde TAFE campus, who he competed against in the regional competition in September last year.
“It was a singles event in regional and for national they combine us, Jordan was my classmate, he came first and I came second,” Mr Roberts said.
“It was a full day where we had to do a bit of paving, brickwork and decking… At nationals, there will be a besser block wall, some paving, turf, a timber table and two sandstone walls.”
Judges will assess the pair on their team work and, while it sounds daunting, Mr Roberts thinks the pair have it ‘down pat’.
“We’re not too nervous and are pretty confident, we’ve been training together as a team once a week at TAFE,” he said.
Mr Roberts will be one of over 500 young men and women between 16 and 24-years-old going for gold at the WorldSkills national competition in 60 different skills.
WorldSkills CEO, Brett Judd, compared WorldSkills’ competitors to Olympic athletes but posed just one question.
“Which of the two groups might have the greatest impact on Australia’s future economy?” he asked.
“The extraordinary young people that compete at the national competition will come out the other side with enhanced technical ability but more importantly, they’ll be more confident in the choices they make.
“[They will] be armed with a range of leadership and life skills that will serve them well as they look to start their own businesses, employ workers, pay taxes and have a positive, lasting impact on our society.”
The biennial competition will be held at Melbourne Showgrounds from Thursday, October 6 to Saturday, October 8 covering a whopping 25,000 square metres of floor space.
A staggering $10 million worth of materials will be used at the competition, including eight tonnes of steel, 90 kilograms of chocolate, 3250 stems of flowers and foliage, and over 7500 bricks.