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NMITs super skilled six go to Sydney

22 Mar 2013

Six NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) students have won their regional competitions in recent Victorian WorldSkills competition.

WorldSkills is a not-for-profit organisation providing Australians aged 23 and under the chance to sharpen their skills competing against their peers in their chosen trade. Competitors are given the same materials and tools and have eight hours to complete a standard design. The work is then judged for skills such as soldering, finishing and overall quality, depending on the trade.

Rob Occhipinti won the Melbourne Region jewellery competition. “There were about 45 competitors and just two winners so I was extremely excited to win. It's a great feeling to know you'll be going to the next round.”

Rob studies Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture at NMIT's Fairfield Campus while working at Diamond Occasion in Melbourne's CBD. He's now looking forward to representing Victoria at the National WorldSkills titles to be held at the Sydney Showgrounds August 30 - September 1. “I can't wait, it'll be a great experience and a new challenge. I'll get a chance to improve my skills while competing against the best.”

Stephen Keogh, Jewellery Teacher and NMIT's WorldSkills Team Leader, says “It's a great experience for the students. They learn to work under pressure, understand drawings, manage their time and recover from mistakes - the competition really helps them improve their work.”

Stephen should know, he's a former Australian Worldskills representative and judge. “I want students to have the same experience I did. It was life changing. It opens up so many options.” Students train intensively for the competition, including attending training camps and learning from guest speakers. Stephen is proud of NMIT's record in the competition. “For the last 30 years about half of the jewellery and landscaping winners in the international team have been from NMIT. It's a reflection on the teachers who volunteer their time to train the students.”

The victorious NMIT's students were Robert Occhipinti in Jewellery (Melbourne), Amy Kennedy in Jewellery (Victorian Country Regional), Alden Meale in Landscape Construction (Melbourne), Ryan Dahlblom in Landscape Construction (Victorian Country Regional), Gao Liu in Cookery (Melbourne) and Jack Reade in Joinery (Melbourne).

Winners of the Australian competition will have the opportunity to compete in the 2013 WorldSkills International event in Leipzig, Germany.

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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