NewsTuesday 09 Aug 2016

Local automotive apprentice tightens the screws on national success

For most automotive students, success comes in the form of landing employment soon after study. For one North Coast TAFE automotive student however, success in landing a job has come coupled with a gold medal and the chance to represent his country.

Hailing from Coffs Harbour and working for Coffs Harbour Automotive, Nelson Mooney placed first and was awarded the gold medal at the regional WorldSkills competition earlier in the year.

“I was pretty surprised when I won…I have never won anything in my life. It was an amazing experience to excel in my trade and I have a lot more confidence in my work…so much so that it has allowed me to take on a different view of myself and where I stand in the industry”Nelson Mooney, Coffs Harbour

Now, Nelson has the opportunity to compete at the National WorldSkills competition and possibly compete at the International WorldSkills event in Abu Dhabi next year. 

“During the competition in Melbourne, I just need to find my rhythm while competing to ensure I don’t miss anything”.

Gaining self-confidence, improved ambition and new techniques are just some of the benefits the 21-year-old found in competing at the regional competition.

“I actually got the opportunity to visit the Mercedes Benz museum and factory in Stuttgart, Germany last year which was pretty amazing”.

Nelson attributes his success in the automotive industry to repairing many things that were lying around his home.

“We lived on acreage when I was younger…there were always broken things to fix. Coupled with my love of cars, I guess it was a perfect match” Nelson says.

There are over 50 skill categories represented at the National WorldSkills competition and Nelson is one of nineteen competitors representing North Coast TAFE from 6-8 October in Melbourne. Competitors undertake months of intensive training before the nationals, to increase their chances of being selected for the ‘Skillaroos’ team who will compete at the International WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi next year.

The Coffs Harbour Automotive employee hopes to one day own his own mechanic enterprise. “My goal is to open up my own shop within the next five years. I’m extremely excited for the future”.