TAFE graduates make their mark

A BUDDING young signwriter, a fashion designer and a business administrator from the region will be heading to the UK as part of the 2013 Big Brother Movement.

The three TAFE Illawarra graduates are among 17 young Australians who competed in the 2012 WorldSkills Australia national competition who have been picked for the prestigious program.

And while Mitchell Croke, Genevieve Hutty and Rachel Mammatt have each won WorldSkills medals in their chosen fields, the month-long UK leadership program will definitely take them out of their comfort zones.

"We'll be off to Wales first where we'll be doing activities like climbing mountains and hiking, and even working as a team in a sinking ship simulator," Ms Hutty said.

"After that we'll be doing work experience in the UK in our own industry. Personally, I am hoping to spend time with a bridal designer as that's the area I want to go into."

The Figtree resident completed a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology last year after winning a silver medal at the WorldSkills competition.

She said being selected for the Big Brother program was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

"I've always wanted to be a fashion designer. My nan was a very clever seamstress and she taught me from a young age," she said. "I can't wait to get over to the UK next June."

Mitchell Croke, of Goulburn, won a gold medal in signage at the national WorldSkills competition, while Wollongong's Ms Mammatt won silver in the business services category.

TAFE Illawarra regional chairman for WorldSkills, Troy Everett, praised all three for being accepted into the UK program.

"We are very pleased for these students because the Big Brother Movement is an outstanding opportunity that will allow them to undertake leadership training and work experience with leaders in their field," he said.

"That type of experience is invaluable for young people and they will be able to use it as a springboard into their careers."

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