A group of Australia’s top apprentices, trainees and VET graduates have been selected for the national Skillaroos team to compete at the WorldSkills International Competition to be held in Kazan in Russia in August.

The Global Skills Challenge saw competitors from New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and France, Russia, Brazil, Singapore, Japan and China travel to take part in 24 skill categories.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, praised the team, which was announced following the Global Skills Challenge which has been underway in Melbourne this week.

“I congratulate the members of the Skillaroos team – they represent our very best of Australia’s VET graduates. It is an honour to be selected to represent your country at an international level,” Minister Cash said.

Minister Cash had the opportunity to see some of the Skillaroos in action at the Global Skills Challenge, pitting their skills against 185 competitors from 15 countries, in the last big training session before the WorldSkills International Competition.

“The Skillaroos represent the many skilled workers and tradespeople throughout Australia we all rely on to deliver the services and systems that keep our communities ticking over every single day.” Senator Cash said.

“It is the skilled workforce that drives our economy, our business and industry” Minister Cash said.

In the recent Budget the Government, who supports WorldSkills through a $5.4 million commitment over the next three years, bolstered its support for vocational and skills training with a wide-reaching Skills Package.

“Australia’s modern economy will need flexible and applied ways of learning to deliver the skills needed for today and tomorrow,” Minister Cash said.

The Government’s Skills Package – Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow – will ensure that Australians have the right skills to succeed in a changing labour market, and that businesses have access to the skilled workforce they need to grow and prosper.

Investing in Australia’s VET sector is a key element in our Government’s plan to create an additional 1.25 million jobs over the next five years. A responsive and flexible VET system will equip Australians with the skills they need today in in the future.

“I wish the Skillaroos team every success in the coming months as they prepare to compete in Kazan. You are great ambassadors for your communities, for your industries, and for Australia.”