Twenty-one-year-old carpentry apprentice Bevan Cuthbertson could be off to the 2013 Trade Olympics in Germany after coming out top of his field in a regional competition held in Coffs Harbour last week.
Bevan, who is in the third year of his apprenticeship with Northern Rivers Group Training Company (NRGT), is working with host employer Andrew Priestley based in the Byron Bay hinterland.
Bevan competed against 20 apprentices from Kempsey to Wollongbar in a complex scaled roof exercise. To get to the Olympics he will first have to top the National WorldSkills Construction Competition next year but Bevan is quietly confident.
Asked what he thought of his win, Bevan said, ‘I was pretty happy. I’ve been waiting for it for months.’
At the competition everyone was given the same task. Bevan constructed complex roof structure, half the size of a dining-table scale model.
‘We started at 8am and finished at 4pm. Old-school carpentry – we weren’t allowed to bring in any books, just working with standard tools and working out the maths.’
Of the next stage, Bevan said, ‘I know it’s going to be a heaps big step up but I’m going to study up so I can go overseas. If I go well in this it will give me a good step up in the rest of my career.
‘Head of carpentry at Wollongbar TAFE, Warren Porter, is mentoring me. I also study in my own time.’
NRGT manager Toni Bellos congratulated Bevan on an outstanding achievement in the face of some very tough competition.
The national competition will be held in Sydney in September 2012. If Bevan is successful at the national level, he will earn himself a trip to Germany in 2013 to represent Australia in the international competition, the Trade Olympics.