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Victorian apprentice places well at WorldSkills

Young electrical apprentice, Dave McPherson, recently returned from a successful international competition. The WorldSkills event, conducted every two years, was held this year in London.

McPherson, who works for Laser Electrical in the regional Victorian city of Ballarat, finished fifth out of 26 competitors, all from different countries, in the Industrial Control section.

Siemens Applications Specialist Greg Gardiner, who helped McPherson with some of his training at the company’s Bayswater office, said it was a remarkable achievement by the young man.

“To finish fifth in a world-wide competition, and to beat some other highly fancied competitors, is something Dave can be very proud of,” said Gardiner.

“It was definitely worth all the time and effort I put in,” Dave said emphatically.

“The competition was close all the way,” said McPherson, after narrowly missing out on a podium finish. “I spoke to a couple of the judges and competitors when it finished and found out there wasn’t much in it [the result].”

A testament to McPherson’s character was that his time in the competition was anything but smooth. His toolbox/workbench full of his tools was damaged in transit from Australia and arrived in a state of disrepair. And during the competition his progress was interrupted and delayed a few times when programming software on the laptop supplied to him refused to function properly.

On day four of the competition, Dave’s keyboard was changed overnight to help level the playing field but the organisers lost the password to the computer and his start was delayed.

“Yeah, it was a bit frustrating,” McPherson said. “We are always working against the clock so the organisers allowed me to make up for time lost that wasn’t my fault. It meant that on two out of the four nights I was working back later than the other competitors, which also made it a longer day and a bit more tiring.

Now that he is back into the swing of working regular hours, McPherson has some encouraging words for the next competitor.

“Give it 100 percent. At that level you can’t afford to leave anything to chance. But don’t forget to enjoy the ride because that’s part of the process,” he said.

McPherson said he would like to thank Siemens staff for their help – in Melbourne and London.

The next WorldSkills event will be held in Leipzig, Germany, in 2013.

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