Future Boiler Makers at WorldSkills 08

SkillsOne heads to WorldSkills in Sydney, for the 2008 National Competition. We chat to John Sharples, a Boilermaker teacher and Chief Judge at WorldSkills. He shares what's involved in boiler making, and how to teach students most effectively in steelwork.

John shares what's his role as a judge and what to look for in the competition. He shares what's so great about WorldSkills.

About Construction Steel Work At WorldSkills:

The Construction Steel Work category is an 18 hour project designed to test the steel building skills of the competitor. Each competitor will build a bridge frame out of a steel section using low carbon steel. It is a common job that involves all of the skills the competitors are taught including triangulation, geometrical, practical and forming skills.

Known as ‘boiler makers’ (trade grass route) they “build stuff out of steel - metal fabrication and welding” (John Sharples, Chief Judge) Competitors use guillotines, computerised press’, mechanical rolls, flat bar benders, welding machines and they use their own personal hand tools.

About John:

John is a Metal Fabrication and Welding teacher at the Illawarra Institute of TAFE and Chief Judge in the Construction Steel Work category at this years WorldSkills competition. He also designed the project the competitors will be making.

John started out as an apprentice boiler maker when he was 15 years old. After becoming a training officer for BHP he thought he would use his skills and knowledge of the industry in a teaching format and went on to become a teacher in 1979.

John became involved in WorldSkills in the 1980’s but when construction steel work was taken out of the competition John decided to focus on teaching. When it was back on the competitive stage in 2004, John became involved as a Judge.

John thinks that WorldSkills showcases our great Aussie kids who are at the top level of their trade and is proud to be a part of that and know that he helped.

John donates his time to WorldSkills and takes time off work (that are his holidays) to be involved in WorldSkills because he believes it is so important for the future of our country to have qualified, skilled tradespeople.

VJ Edith Veilleux