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A young welder from Lake Macquarie has been named by WorldSkills Australia as a member of an elite team of young Australian trades people who will compete against their international counterparts in Abu Dhabi in October.
 
The team, known as the Skillaroos, was chosen after a four-day Global Skills Challenge hosted by TAFE NSW in Newcastle. The challenge saw over 100 participants from 16 countries test their skills in 21 trades in the lead up to the 44th WorldSkills International in Abu Dhabi.
 
Dylan Bolch, 22, who has graduated from TAFE NSW Newcastle and is employed by Macquarie Manufacturing in Rathmines, will compete in Welding.
 
He has been training towards possible selection to Abu Dhabi since late last year, and has worked closely with mentors Paul Condran, who works for BlueScope Steel, Mark Williams who works for Ben Furney Flour Mills and retired TAFE NSW metal fabrication​ teacher, John Anderson.
 
The Skillaroos, aged 19 to 22, includes the highest ever female representation. The trades and skills to be represented include bricklaying, patisserie and confectionery, heavy vehicle mechanics, hairdressing, landscape gardening, refrigeration and air-conditioning, carpentry, wall and floor tiling.
 
The 44th WorldSkills International Competition to be held in Abu Dhabi, October 14 to 19, will see more than 3000 participants, including Competitors, Experts and Officials, from 77 countries compete in 51 skills. Australia, currently ranked 12th in the world, is aiming to finish in the top 10 in 2017.
 
WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd congratulated Dylan on his selection saying it had been based on an arduous training regime, his success at the national WorldSkills competition held in Melbourne late last year and his performance at the Global Skills Challenge.
 
“Dylan has consistently shown the dedication, commitment and excellence we require of our Skillaroos,” said Mr Judd.
 
“I applaud his determination and congratulate him on their selection as a Skillaroo.”
 
Mr Judd said WorldSkills Australia was nurturing and developing the skills of young Australians, and highlighting the opportunities available to those pursuing a trade or skill. 
 
“These young people are excelling in their fields and being rewarded with international experience and opportunities,” he said. “Their trades are really taking them places.”
 
Seven other TAFE NSW students and alumni have been named in the Skillaroos Team: 
Gabby Ware - Hairdressing (TAFE NSW Port Macquarie)
Dylan Bolch - Welding (TAFE NSW Newcastle)
Lilly Campbell - Beauty Therapy (TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga)
Brett McPaul - Construction metal Work (TAFE NSW Wollongong)
Louise Azzopardi - Heavy Vehicle Maintenance (TAFE NSW Wetherill Park)
Bradley Ingham - Industrial Mechanics Millwright (TAFE NSW Orange)
Joshua Morrissey - Joinery (TAFE NSW Lidcombe)
Brayden Gauci - Wall and Floor Tiling (TAFE NSW Macquarie Fields)