Swinburne’s award-winning plumbing success at World Skills Day

Swinburne plumbing apprentice Danny Hoekstra has been recognised for his industry knowledge and craft after winning the WorldSkills Day Plumbing National Competition for 2020.

In the pipework

The three-day event hosted by WorldSkills Australia promotes professional excellence and has been recognised nationwide in vocational education and training.

Acclaimed as a demonstration of outstanding merit in all fields of trade and skill, Swinburne has previously represented Australia at the 45th WorldSkills International Championships last year.

Danny was among 500 young tradespeople selected to compete on a national stage for gold and a chance to advance further to represent Australia at an international level.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed and couldn’t believe it. I feel extremely proud of this achievement,” says Danny.

The Plumbing and Heating competition requires participants to practice industry skills and knowledge to complete simulated installations, repairs and maintenance of plumbing systems within domestic, commercial and industrial settings.

Beginning at a regional level, over 4000+ apprentices, trainees and students are tested and given the opportunity to showcase and benchmark their skills and advance onto a national level.

“It’s a great day to meet people in the industry and definitely will look good on a resume whether you win or just participate,” says Danny.

Danny was supported in his training leading up to the event by a network of staff and peers, including his experienced plumbing mentor and teacher, Paul Burke, pre-apprenticeship teacher Brendan Hooker, and former Manager of Swinburne Start, Linda Kearley.

“My teachers have always been happy to go above and beyond the call of duty to help myself and other students in regards to advice and extra support with learning,” he says.

Throughout my apprenticeship, there was always encouragement from several teachers to partake in extracurricular activities like this”.

Raising Expectations

Swinburne is a proud partner with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare’s ‘Raising Expectations’ project, which aims to help young care leavers access further education.

Danny’s education journey began at Swinburne through the Try-a-Trade program in 2016, later allowing him to build connections through the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC).

Swinburne offers academic support programs, pathways to further study, and other short courses to prepare and support students who have experienced foster, kinship, residential or permanent care..

In 2018 Swinburne’s Croydon campus hosted the Apprentices Skills Competition, presenting students from five TAFEs to showcase their skills to industry and each other – watch the video.

Although Danny is unable to travel on to the 2021 International Competition in the USA due to COVID-19 lockdown, he has continued to pursue his Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services at Swinburne.

Danny hopes to continue to exploring opportunities to expand his skillset and broaden his experience in the plumbing industry going forward in his apprenticeship.

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