Top Young Apprentice Makes Elite Squad

January 2, 2017

Hunter TAFE student Dylan Bolch has been selected to join an elite international team, known as the Skills Squad, after his successful performance at the recent WorldSkills National Competition in Melbourne, where he picked up a silver medal in the welding competition.



Dylan was part of Hunter TAFE’s WorldSkills Team, which returned as champions after winning the best overall region at the prestigious competition, which sees over 500 top apprentices, trainees and students compete across sixty skills, ranging from fashion design and programming to plastering and sheet metal work.

Of the 14 Hunter TAFE students who competed, eight placed in the top three in the country and brought home two gold, three silver, and three bronze medals.




Hunter TAFE was also awarded the prestigious Evatt Shield having gained the best overall score for all regions across Australia. This was the second Evatt Shield win for Hunter TAFE, after also securing the Shield at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia competition.


Dylan, an apprentice welder from Woodrising who works for Macquarie Manufacturing, will now spend the next year training with a dedicated skills mentor, vying for the opportunity to join over 1,000 young men and women from 75 countries at WorldSkills International Competition, to be held in Abu Dhabi next October.


Having just completed Certificate IV in Engineering (Metal Fabrication), Dylan said Hunter TAFE was the perfect fit for him to develop his skills.


“I was always a hands-on student, which led me to take part in a metals and engineering TVET course during high school. I loved it so much that it gave me the drive to take on an apprenticeship,” he said.


Hunter TAFE Institute Director Christine Warrington said she was immensely proud of the WorldSkills team’s achievements.


“These students are fine examples of the incredible talent that is developed here in the Hunter and Central Coast regions, and we applaud them on their accomplishments at this national level,” said Ms. Warrington.


“For students in vocational education and training there is no greater achievement, and we are so thrilled that their hard work and months of training resulted in such success.”



The Hunter TAFE 2016 WorldSkills medallists were:

• Blake Ayerst - Gold in Plastering
• Alexander Brown - Gold in Programming
• Cejay Alsop - Silver in Sheetmetal Work
• Matthew Hurley - Silver in Carpentry
• Dylan Bolch - Silver in Welding
• Brooke Osland - Bronze in Fashion Technology
• Joshua Nott -  Bronze in Construction Steel Work
• Matthew Brandt – Bronze medal in Autobody Repair

For information on enrolling at Hunter TAFE in 2017 go to

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