Jack shows his skills against world's best

Jack shows his skills against world's best

Events
Jack Waters has taken out gold in this year's WorldSkills Australia National Championships.

Jack Waters has taken out gold in this year's WorldSkills Australia National Championships.

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Wowing judges in the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) Primary Industries category, Jack Waters claimed the top prize after three rounds of testing in machinery, livestock and fencing.

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SEVENTEEN-year-old Jack Waters, from Bencubbin, has won gold at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships.

Wowing judges in the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) Primary Industries category, Mr Waters claimed the top prize after three rounds of testing in machinery, livestock and fencing.

The win came as a shock as he wasn't expecting the excellent result.

"It was very surprising to win, to be honest, but it was good to see that I can compete against some of the best," Mr Waters said.

"Overall it was good fun and a tough competition, we got the scorecard at the end and it was a close result."

The testing, which was unknown to the contestants until competition day, looked at safety and machine handling, drenching and weighing livestock and constructing plain wire and electric fencing.

"My favourite part of the competition was the livestock element," he said.

"We have sheep on our family farm which was handy, but just the way it was run and being able to move the livestock was fun."

Although Mr Waters was surprised with the win, he was in good stead as a fourth generational farmer.

On top of that, the Vocational Education Training (VET) he did during his last two years at Western Australian College of Agriculture at Cunderdin, helped him to put theory into practice.

"At school in Cunderdin, it's very involved, we do a lot of theory in school but then we actually take it out and do it on the farm there, so it's very very hands on," he said.

"I'm one of those people who doesn't like to just sit in the classroom, I like to put the practice in place, so being able to learn how to do it and then go and practise it is what I loved about doing VET."

The exceptional talent out of WA was not limited to Mr Waters.

With 239 young Australians competing across 55 skill events and almost 10,000 viewers streaming the event, the competition was fierce and many WA locals came out on top.

Overall 150 medals were given out across the categories and WA took home 54 medals, with 19 gold, 22 silver and 13 bronze medals.

The event covered a range of skill sets from bricklaying to cyber security, but when it came to VETiS Primary Industries category, WA had it in the bag.

With silver awarded to Aaron Cuthbertson, from Duncraig, with Geoff Toze, from Leschenault, taking home bronze.

"We are proud of TeamWA's amazing achievements, which show that our country's best talents are training right here in Western Australia," said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery.

"The past 18 months have demonstrated how vital skills and training are for building a sustainable workforce that can meet immediate and long-term skills needs.

"TeamWA's achievements will inspire a new generation of talent to follow a VET pathway into our State's skilled workforce."

Finishing his final year of school this year, Mr Waters has his eyes set on another hands-on endeavour taking on a four-year heavy diesel apprenticeship at AFGRI, although long-term he'll be back in the wide open spaces he loves, looking after the family farm in Bencubbin.

Mr Waters encourages anyone else who is thinking of entering next year's WorldSkills competition to just give it a go.

"Just give it your best and have a go, if you think you're good at something then there are quite a few competitions leading up to WorldSkills you can enter,'' he said.

"If you think you want to have a chance to compete for WA, or even Australia, have a go and back yourself."

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