Trading hammers for paintbrushes

GOLD: Aprpentice builder Jamie Bell took home a gold medal in a WorldSkills competition. Photo: Supplied

GOLD: Aprpentice builder Jamie Bell took home a gold medal in a WorldSkills competition. Photo: Supplied

Naracoorte Painting congratulated their very own Jamie Bell earlier this month for becoming the WorldSkills Regional Gold Medalist in 2019.

Jamie is a mature-aged apprentice who was presented the award in early December.

Branching out from his trade as a builder, Jamie tried his hand at the painting and decorating trade and completed it with flying colours.

Naracoorte Painting said they are "extremely proud" to have a gold medalist on the team.

"We had an eight hour day allocated to us to do a series of general painting jobs that had been set by the WorldSkills competition," Jamie told the Herald.

"I found it to be a good insight into how to plan out your day so things keep moving and not to get stuck waiting on things to dry, therefore wasting time."

Jamie said he was pleased with his performance, and if given the opportunity, he'd definitely participate again.

"I was very stoked when the teachers read out our scores to hear that I had topped the class with a 96.5 out of 100."

Two examples are Jamie had to measure up and paint a star design, as well as three stripes he had to measure and colour match by mixing paints together.

Jamie said this task was part of trade school, so every apprentice had to participate as part of the program.

Every two years, more than 500 regional WorldSkills competitions are held in 34 areas across the nation.

The competitions are set to test the skills and knowledge of more than 4000 apprentices, trainees and students. Each competitor has the chance to win gold, silver and bronze medals, and even go on to compete at a national level.

Competitors could compete in one of seven skill clusters: construction and building technology, creative arts and fashion, informative and communications technology, manufacturing and engineering technology, social and personal services, transport and logistics, and VETiS competitions.

Taking part in Regional Competitions are said to encourage employees to strive for excellence and can boost workplace skills and performance. You can nominate yourself, or a teacher, training provider or employer can nominate you to participate - just visit