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Team Australia Skillaroos to compete at international competition.



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Senator the Hon Mark Arbib 

Minister for Employment Participation 

26 August, 2009  

Media release 

Team Australia Skillaroos to compete at international competition 

Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib today farewelled 26 young Australians who will take on the world in their chosen field at the 40th WorldSkills International Competition in Calgary, Canada.

Minister Arbib presented the 2009 Team Australia Skillaroos with Australian flags at a farewell function at Doltone House in Sydney.

The Australian Skillaroos are made up of 26 apprentices, trainees and vocational education and training students aged 23 and under who were medallists in the 2008 WorldSkills National Australia competition.

Senator Arbib said team members would compete at the international level in their chosen fields including bricklaying, plumbing, web design, floristry and cooking.

“The young Australians will be testing themselves against the best in the world as well as showcasing the high standard of vocational education and training that exists in Australia,” Senator Arbib said.

“Australia is known for our international sporting prowess, but in our Skillaroos we celebrate another dimension of our national character - our world-class skills and spirit of innovation.

“There is no greater honour than representing your country. I wish the team every success.”

Established in 1950, WorldSkills is made up of 51 member countries and regions worldwide. Australia has competed at every international competition since 1988 and is currently ranked in fifth in the world.

Participants compete for medals in 45 skill categories, ranging from cabinet-making to web design.

The Australian Government is providing $750,000 a year in funding to WorldSkills Australia for three years and is committed to training the apprentices and WorldSkills competitors of the future.

“The Rudd Government is investing $3.8 billion over four years to support Australian Apprenticeships and about 400,000 Australians are already in apprenticeship schemes covering more than 500 occupations.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will host the Skillaroos at a reception on October 28, to mark their return from the competition which runs from September 1-7.

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