Mount Victoria’s Jade McSorley, a panel beater at Welch’s Highway Smash, is now a national champion after winning gold at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and taking out the Autobody Repair category.
Competing against people from all across the country, Jade has been recognised as a national champion, but he remains humble in the face of such an achievement.
The WorldSkills competition was a three day event held down in Melbourne recently, where competitors working in all types of trades faced off for glory to be named the best of the best.
From Butchery to Bricklaying, people working in skills and trades from as many as seven categories were put to the test for accolades and a serious boost to their CV.
Jade was chosen to represent Sydney West after winning the Autobody Repair Regional WorldSkills competition in 2015.
While getting to work on cars was business as usual for Jade, having to do it in front of a panel of judges and a big audience was something else.
“There were thousands of spectators,” he said.
Jade said despite the recognition, he plans to stick around a bit and thanked his superiors for pushing him to compete in the regionals that led to the National competition.
“I wasn’t going to enter until Robert and Grant said, ‘you’re doing it,’” he said.
“They believed in me... I didn’t think I’d come first.”
He is now set to compete internationally against the best of the best at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi next year.
Regardless of accolades, auto body repair is something Jade is very passionate about.
“You never get the same dent twice, and there is so much to learn.”
After leaving school, Jade didn’t even know what panel beating was but was frantically trying to find an apprenticeship.
“I was applying anywhere. Dubbo, Blayney… in all different categories just to get something.”
Jade’s achievement shows that hard work can end in big results.
For anyone looking to start in a trade, Jade said determination can get anyone over the line.
“Don’t give up, and strive for your best.”