The task for apprentice turners was to create three metal parts, and the judges were watching.
The components would be assessed on how well they fitted together, with the margin for error thinner than a human hair in some places.
The workers stood at their machines yesterday – 27 young men in high-vis shirts and safety glasses – and turned the metal at a steady pace as an eight-hour deadline neared.
Their task, performed at Wollongong TAFE campus, formed part of the regional WorldSkills Australia competition, a showcase for trades students and apprentices from fields as diverse as hairdressing to carpentry.
Regional WorldSkills organiser Peter Buttenshaw said more than 200 students were taking part in the region this year, with the winners progressing to the national competition in Perth next year and – potentially – to the international leg in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as members of Australia’s ‘‘Skillaroos’’.
‘‘The competition shows the abilities of the young people, but also the training in the area,’’ Mr Buttenshaw said.
Competition continues today and tomorrow.