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Two TasTAFE trained plastering apprentices have won an Australasian plastering competition.

On 31 October, Mitchell Stephan and William Browne won the Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries (AWCI) Australia and New Zealand 2018 Apprentice Skills Challenge held in Perth, WA.

It is the seventh time in the past eight years that Tasmanian plastering apprentices trained at TasTAFE have won the competition.

Mitch, who won gold in plastering at the WorldSkills Australia National Competitions in June, works at Darren’s Plastering in Hobart, and Will works at Tasmanian Professional Plaster in Hobart.

TasTAFE Plastering teachers Warren Banks and Andrew Scott (pictured with Mitch (left), Will and Minister for Building and Construction, Sarah Courtney) have trained all of the seven winning teams. Both Mitch and William are undertaking a Certificate III in Plastering and have done their apprentice training at TasTAFE’s Clarence Campus with Warren and Andrew.

During the competition Mitch and Will went up against apprentices from all states of Australia and New Zealand. They had to complete a project which involved a metal stud structure built to standards, specifications and plans which included a stepped ceiling and two niches in walls.

They said it was a surprise to win but they felt their teamwork had helped them take home the award. The fact that Tasmanian plasterers get a wide range of experience may also have given them the edge.

“Tasmanian plasterers, we do a bit of everything, compared to mainlanders where one will trowel, one will screw, they do separate things and they get stuck on it forever, whereas we get to do different things all the time,” Will said.

Mitch agrees: “It’s definitely a more diverse trade in Tasmania – with what we have to do and what’s expected of us down here.”

TasTAFE will be holding Apprenticeship Information Evenings in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie later this month. The sessions will provide more information about why apprenticeships are a great career option, what an apprenticeship involves and the pathways to gaining an apprenticeship. Apprentices and employers will share their insights and there will also be an opportunity to chat to presenters and TasTAFE staff and do a campus tour.


TasTAFE apprentices win Australasian Plastering competition