Home | Marketing | Cabinet making apprentice joins Skills Squad training for Russia 2019

Cabinet making apprentice joins Skills Squad training for Russia 2019

A local cabinet making apprentice who completed his training at South Regional TAFE  has been selected for the Australian Skills Squad 2019.

Kevin Dirks, 20, will now train for the chance to become a member of the Australian Skillaroo team competing in the next WorldSkills International Competition in Russia.

Kevin was a silver medallist at the Australian WorldSkills Championships held in Sydney recently. WorldSkills is considered the Olympics of skills competitions for young tradespeople, apprentices and trainees.

Kevin has also received a John Tiddy Memorial Award from the Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association (AWISA) for his exceptional skills and dedication to his cabinet making apprenticeship.

Kevin was one of just six apprentices selected from throughout Australia to receive the award and the only apprentice from WA.

The prize included an all expenses paid trip to the AWISA 2018 exhibition in Sydney in mid-July as well as $2000 towards the cost of his course fees.

Kevin said being selected for the John Tiddy Memorial Award was brilliant and gave him the chance to see some amazing work.

“It felt pretty good to find out I had been selected for the award, I wasn’t expecting it,” Kevin said.

Kevin said receiving the John Tiddy Award and being a medallist in WorldSkills had provided him with some great experiences.

“The competition at WorldSkills was really intense. There is only so much preparation you can do for that sort of competition.

“Once you get there it is still really challenging but I have definitely learned from it and it has increased my confidence.”

South Regional TAFE Furniture/Cabinet making lecturer Joe Estermann nominated Kevin for the John Tiddy Memorial Award.

“I felt Kevin would be a good ambassador for TAFE,” Joe said.

“He had showed initiative as well as commitment to his training going above and beyond what is expected.”

Employed by Bridgetown company Glen Holst Furniture, renowned for building unique bespoke furniture which requires a high level of intense skills, Kevin has become a valuable part of Glen Holst’s team. The company has created boardroom furniture for corporate organisations like Woodside.

Glen Holst said he was very proud of Kevin and his whole team for the dedication and training they have put into WorldSkills. Glen has also had other apprentices that have received medals in National competitions who supported and mentored Kevin in the lead up to the National WorldSkills event.

“Kevin is a terrific young guy who has become a highly valued member of our team,” Glen said.

“He has also developed good problem solving abilities along with great technical skills.

 “We highly value the skills and life skills our team members gain from being involved in competitions and supporting them to compete in WorldSkills is a team effort.”

Kevin started his training doing a Certificate II in Furnishings while at Manjimup Senior High School through South Regional TAFE (VET delivered to secondary students). This course helped him develop basic skills and get stated in the industry. Kevin said this was a great starter courses.

*The John Tiddy Memorial Award commemorates the late John Tiddy’s many years of dedications to Australian furniture and woodworking. He was the first chairman of AWISA.

Photo supplied by WorldSkills Australia: Kevin Dirks won a silver medal for cabinet making during the WorldSkills National Championships held in Sydney.

Page last updated July 25, 2018