Gold medal WorkSkills National Championship winner Paddy Brennan of TSR Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
Gold medal WorkSkills National Championship winner Paddy Brennan of TSR Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. Contributed

Gympie apprentices star at national championships

GYMPIE apprentices and trainees were well represented at the WorldSkills National Championships in Sydney on Wednesday night, with two workers taking out medals.

Paddy Brennan took gold in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning category, while Nolan Meats' Charles Ray claimed silver for Electrical Control.

An apprentice mechanic for TSR - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Mr Brennan said he knew he was in the top three for the past few weeks and to be awarded the top spot left him "speechless”.

"It was unreal.

"I wasn't really expecting it.

"It's a dream come true.”

Silver medal WorkSkills National Championship winner Charles Ray from Nolan Meats.
Silver medal WorkSkills National Championship winner Charles Ray from Nolan Meats. Contributed

And climbing that mountain did not come easy.

During the competition, he was assessed on a number of service challenges including electrical and refrigeration fault finding.

"You get assessed on everything you do, including safety,” he said.

Training for the competition was a feat, too.

For more than six months Mr Brennan, made a five-hour round trip to Brisbane training every Tuesday night.

But even with that preparation, the competition was fierce.

Gold medal WorkSkills National Championship winner Paddy Brennan of TSR Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, flanked by Judy and Tony Stephens.
WINNERS: (Above) Gold medal winner Paddy Brennan flanked by his employers Judy and Tony Stephens and (right) silver medallist Charles Ray. Contributed

"We had a good preparation but it was very stressful,” he said. "I'm glad I did it.”

For his efforts, Mr Brennan now has the chance to represent Australia in the international championships held in Russia next year.

Mr Brennan and Mr Gray were joined by 15 other Queenslanders in claiming a medal at the championships.

The championships were held over three days in Sydney, with more than 150 medals up for grabs across 50 trades and skills including carpentry, fashion and jewellery and 3D game design.