Trade opens door to world of skills

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Oamaru man Matthew McLellan won a gold medal at the WorldSkills New Zealand Competition at Wintec, in Hamilton, at the weekend.
Mr McLellan won the joinery section and is now waiting to find out if he will be selected to represent New Zealand at either the Oceania WorldSkills competition in Australia or the International WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi next year.
Mr McLellan had to create a door while working in a long room with other trade competitors all hard at work in their respective fields.
“You could see everyone. It’s a lot of noise.”
People were competing in trades such as automobile technology, plumbing, hairdressing and floristry.
He said the event was stressful.
“There was a lot of pressure.”
The 18-year-old was nominated to compete by a tutor at the Southern Institute of Technology for his joinery work 18 months into his four-year apprenticeship.
He was surprised and pleased to be nominated for the Otago-Southland team at the national competition.
The door he built will be displayed at SIT.
He said he was happy and humbled his work could be used to inspire other people in their occupation choices.
“That’s pretty cool that people will see it and a picture of me beside that and think, ‘We may be able to do that one day’.”