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Cabinet Maker to learn in Canada thanks to scholarship

Bridgetown cabinet maker Kevin Dirks has been recognised with a 2019 BBM Global Industry Scholarship. Kevin, who completed his cabinet making training at South Regional TAFE, will now travel to Canada to gain work experience with some of the best cabinet makers in the world.

Kevin is one 26 young Australians in vocational careers who have been awarded a 2019 BBM Global Industry Scholarship to pursue innovation and sustainability in their chosen field - from sustainable construction and architecture to waste minimisation in commercial kitchens, and from experimental forms of theatre to agriculture strategies for a food secure world.

The $8000 grant will enable Kevin to travel to overseas and gain hands-on industry experience at the hotspots of their chosen field. While Kevin will visit Canada, others are travelling to the United States, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Japan and the UK in pursuit of knowledge and skills not readily available in Australia.

“I look forward to travelling overseas to gain additional experience and learn how my trade is performed in other countries. Canada is one of the largest producers of furniture in the world, and experiencing their industry will improve my knowledge, strategies and processes, resulting in an overall better and more efficient product. This way I can contribute to making Australia more competitive globally”, Kevin said.

South Regional TAFE Managing Director Duncan Anderson congratulated Kevin.

“This is fantastic news,” Mr Anderson said. “Thanks to the support and encouragement provided by lecturers and the college’s close links with industry, our cabinet making apprentices have set very high standards, performing well in tough national and international competitions such as WorldSkills.

“Kevin is one of the apprentices who has represented South Regional TAFE on a national level at WorldSkills and it will be extremely beneficial for Kevin to gain international experience that will contribute to the industry.”

The BBM Global Industry Scholarships are awarded every year and recognise excellence and vision in aspiring industry leaders across trades, agriculture, horticulture and the performing arts.

“In 2019 the focus is on innovation and sustainability, and the judging panel has seen some of the most inspiring proposals since we first awarded these scholarships in 1983. These 26 young Australians now have the opportunity to work, study and grow both professionally and personally through international industry experience and develop their vision for the future of their industry back home”, BBM Youth Support CEO Melanie Stray said.

Through its scholarship program, BBM Youth Support brings together education and training, industry and opportunity for young Australians to travel, learn and grow to become future leaders in their chosen field.

“The high calibre of this year’s applicants is testimony also to Australia’s education and training standards. Each of our 2019 scholars designs their overseas experience on the foundation of solid education, and it is great to see that our TAFEs, colleges and universities not only develop skills, they also inspire their students to develop leadership, courage and vision.”

WorldSkills Australia, which has a long history in recruiting talent for the trade scholarships, has again put forward two applicants for the trade category.

WorldSkills Australia CEO Trevor Schwenke said the organisation had been empowering excellence in young Australians since 1981.

“The new recipients of the BBM Global Industry Scholarships now have the opportunity to further develop not only their technical skills, but their resilience and confidence”, Mr Schwenke said.

Ms Stray said development opportunities such as these were all too rare for young Australians in vocational careers.

“High school and university students have long benefited from international exchanges and scholarships, but for our young tradespeople in particular few such opportunities exist,” Ms Stray said.

“We believe that successful young people create more opportunities for themselves and others, and we know that these award experiences help young people grow both personally and professionally. Since 1983 many of our alumni have brought back skills and new perspectives to Australia, inspiring other young people to go out there and fulfil their potential. This ripple effect will help Australia have a better future, and I’m proud to be a part of this”, she said.

“We look forward to seeing where this experience takes Kevin, his fellow BBM scholars and those who follow in their footsteps.”

Kevin Dirks competed at the WolrdSkills Australia National Championships. Photo supplied by WorldSkills Australia.



Page last updated October 08, 2019