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NMIT landscape TAFE apprentices to compete in WorldSkills - Germany

14 Jun 2013

On 24 June, two NMIT landscape TAFE apprentices will wing their way to Leipzig, Germany to compete in the 42nd WorldSkills International Competition as part of the 2013 Team Australia Skillaroos.

WorldSkills is the largest skills competition in the world. More than 1,000 vocational and skills students from around the world (17- 25 years of age) compete over two weeks to showcase technique and artistry in twenty nine skills categories.

NMIT Fairfield campus student apprentices, Alden Meale and Ryan Dalblom will represent Australia for the prestigious title of world champion in Landscape Construction. If successful, they will become the first ever Aussies to win the coveted prize of 'world's best' in their chosen skill area.

Since winning first and second prize at the 2012 WSA National Competition held in Sydney, both Alden and Ryan have juggled work, studies and training for WorldSkills.

Until now, Australia's best efforts have secured fourth place in the WorldSkills international arena and Alden and Ryan are keen to perform at their very best.

Alden Meale, a Diamond Creek resident, chose to compete in WorldSkills after encouragement from his teachers and employer.

He has recently completed his Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape) at NMIT's Fairfield campus and is now employed at Landart Landscapes.

“I'd love to get a gold, but even bronze - to be the best in our field from Australia so far would be fantastic,” said Alden.

Alden is keen to develop his industry experience and hopes his achievements in the WorldSkills arena will take him closer to his dream of his own landscaping business.

He is grateful for the support he has been given to compete in Germany.

“My boss has been incredibly supportive by giving me some time-off to train for the event as has Chris Howlett from NMIT as well,” said Alden.

NMIT's second contender in the international competition is Wallan resident, Ryan Dahlblom, a third year apprentice with Garrett Heenan Landscape Constructions.

Ryan is equally as positive about the mentoring support he has been given by his employer, along with his teacher, Chris Howlett, from NMIT's Horticulture department.

“Alden and I have been training a lot and we both have very high expectations for the competition.

“We definitely want to come back with a medal - if not Gold. We've been training on site at NMIT for about 5-6 hours a night after work for the last few weeks in the lead up to the games,” said Ryan.

How the competition works

Each competitor in the Landscape and Construction division is given a set plan to construct a 7x 7 square metre landscaped area. They must use a variety of materials including stonework, cobblestone paving, timber, plants and a water feature.

They have 22 hours to complete the plan and each competitor will be scored by the judging panel on a range of assessment criteria.

The Official Results for each skill listing all Competitors, their points, medal and medallions will be provided to competitors and posted to the WorldSkills International website .

Australia will be represented at the 42nd WorldSkills International Competition by 32 young professionals from 29 skills areas.

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Coordinator, 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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