TAFE NSW Newcastle student set to represent Australian skills training on the world stage

TAFE NSW Newcastle student set to represent Australian skills training on the world stage

Nine TAFE NSW students will represent Australian skills training on the world stage at the WorldSkills Internation Championships in France this year.

Among these students is Neave O’Rielly from the TAFE NSW Newcastle campus who has been selected in the Skillaroos squad for 2024.

Since 1950, the WorldSkills International Championships have united vocational apprentices and trainees from around the world to compete in their respective disciplines.

Competitions are designed by industry and skills experts who assess an individual’s knowledge, practical competence, and employability skills against a set of strict criteria.

The students who make up part of the Australian team, known as the Skillaroos, will travel to France in September where they will test their skills against competitors from more than 75 countries. 

The TAFE NSW Skillaroo team members are at the top of their training in disciplines such as Automotive Technology, Bakery, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Construction Metal Work, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Industrial Mechanics, and Welding.

Like the Olympics, WorldSkills Australia competition activity begins at the grassroots level, in competitions held in one of 34 regions around Australia. Competitors progress competing at national and international levels, in front of over 200,000 people.

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan said these students will have the honour of experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity in France as part of the WorldSkills International Championships.

“The WorldSkills International Championships will provide these TAFE NSW students, all hailing from regional areas, with amazing and potentially life-changing learning opportunities,” Steve said.

“Congratulations and good luck to our TAFE NSW competitors. Their selection for the Australian team speaks volumes of their dedication to their course and the high-quality support from their TAFE NSW teachers.

“TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest education and training provider. For those considering a skills-based career, its training spans around 260 occupations across 85 industry sectors.”

WorldSkills Australian CEO, Trevor Schwenke said that the talent being sent to Lyon is a testament to the vocational skills and opportunities developed here in Australia.

“Congratulations to every Skillaroo on their selection. We’re incredibly excited to be sending out biggest team ever to Lyon and look forward to the fierce but friendly competition that the International Competition brings,” Trevor said.

“The calibre of talent in this team is second to none. Their skills, positive attitude, and professionalism is inspiring, and we wish them all the best when they head to France and fly the flag for Aussie skills.”

“We have team members who have made sacrifices in their personal lives and had to overcome adversity to be crowning the best in their skill and profession. As hopeful as we are that the team will bring home gold, they’re already winners.”

IMAGE | Neave O’Reilly, one of the Skillaroo team members hailing from Newcastle.


TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training and education provider with more than 500,000 enrolments and 1,200 courses. As an education innovator, we’re focused on shaping the future through state-of-the-art facilities, systems, technology and teachers. Our graduates are equipped for the jobs of today and the careers of the future.

TAFE NSW offers the best of campus-based delivery as well as flexible, online and work-based learning. Collaboration, diversity and the strong relationships between our locations contribute to and magnify the value of TAFE NSW and importantly, the benefits that we deliver to communities and the economy of NSW.


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