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​Scoring a Silver medal at the 2016 National WorldSkills Australia competition was just the beginning for two talented young tradespeople named winners of the prestigious BBM Youth Mentoring Scholarship.
The Central Coast’s Matthew Hurley, and Lake Macquarie’s Cejay Alsop, are among 16 elite young tradespeople selected to take part in the BBM Youth Support Award for Skilled Futures scholarship.
After both winning Silver medals at the National WorldSkills competition in Melbourne last October, 22-year-old Matthew and 21-year-old Cejay will have the opportunity to further their training and professional development through work experience in the UK.
The $8,000 scholarship program is designed to enhance the participants’ career prospects and provide them with invaluable international experience in their respective trades and skills. Typically, awardees spend a minimum of a month in the UK but more often than not stay longer to build their international networks or undertake field trips to other parts of Europe to further their knowledge.
Matthew said news of the scholarship came as a surprise, “it wasn’t something I was expecting, it has sort of fallen into place after returning from the National WorldSkills competition.”
From a young age, Matthew says he always enjoyed “making things”. He initially looked into an architecture career, however a desire to bring a drawing to life and execute the build saw him opt for a carpentry apprenticeship. The decision has paid off.
Matthew is employed by CW Constructions on the Central Coast and completed his apprenticeship in May 2016. He has completed both a Certificate III in Carpentry and a Certificate IV in Building and Construction at the Ourimbah TAFE campus.
Matthew is now eagerly researching potential construction companies in the UK, with sights set on a placement with a company that specialises in architectural builds and sustainability – two areas he is passionate about.
“My current employer, CW Constructions, specialises in bespoke residential builds and I would love to build on that experience in the UK. My dream would be to find a company that looks at modern architecture of reclaimed buildings. It will be great to work with different sustainability approaches, building materials and pick up some tips and tricks I can use back home,” said Mr Hurley.
“One of the best parts about working on one-off architectural builds is that every time you go to site there is always a new challenge or problem to solve. You are constantly working on something different to the last previous, so it keeps you thinking,” he said.
The BBM Youth Support Award for Skilled Futures is recognised as a valuable and prestigious award which acknowledges and rewards excellence in skills. BBM Youth Support became a prominent international pathway for WorldSkills Australia in 2000, when the two organisations first partnered to select and grant young and talented competitors with scholarships to travel to the United Kingdom to participate in a two-week leadership development course.
The Scholarships helps to enhance the career prospects of WorldSkills Australia competitors through a development program offered by Mission Performance. The recipients are also encouraged to seek work placement and take advantage of their overseas experience.

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