OUT of the 68 competitors to fly over to Melbourne to compete in the national WorldSkills competition, two Ellenbrook Secondary College students have won gold in their respective categories.
Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) program students Mervyn Abraham won gold in the wall and floor tiling category, while Tash Crofts also won gold in the VETiS tourism category.
Mervyn is in his final year at Ellenbrook Secondary College and was talent spotted by his wall and floor tiling lecturer Ron Simeon.
Mr Simeon has been lecturing for 34 years and has taught thousands of students and said that Mervyn has a natural ability when it comes to tiling.
“The first time he did it, he did the full run through for the competition in seven hours – minus the grouting.
“I thought oh god, that’s crazy, we can work with that,” he said.
Mervyn said he was drawn to tiling because of the support he was given through the school, alongside the support of his lecturer Mr Simeon.
“I find it satisfying, I find easy, the measurements and that, so I can just fly through it easy,” he said.
Mervyn said competing for Team WA in Melbourne was a once in a lifetime experience, and he now has his sights set on joining the Skillaroos national team to represent Australia at the international competition held in Lyon, France in 2024.
“If you want to do it, and you find the right people, you’ll be successful,” he said.
Mervyn said he wants to be a tiler once he has finished school and said the reaction he has had coming back home after winning gold has been fantastic.
When talking about Mervyn’s future, Mr Simeon said it was bright.
“We’ll get him an apprenticeship, and he can make a lot of money,” he said.
The WorldSkills competition is held every two years, with team WA coming home with 26 medals and 10 certificates of excellence once the competition was finished.