Certificate III in Wall & Ceiling Lining (Plasterboard)
A family affair
When you’re a young man making decisions about your future and surrounded by a family whose members are all in the same trade you can go one of two ways: blaze another path or embrace the road well travelled. Emphatically opting for the latter, Blake Ayerst says plastering is in his DNA and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I used to visit my Dad’s workplace as a young boy and I couldn’t wait to grow up and be part of it,” said Blake. “With my Grandpa, father, cousins and uncles in the trade it is very much a family affair and when I turn up at Ayerst Plastering Pty Ltd it doesn’t really feel like work at all!”
Blake is not only loving his life as a plasterer, but he’s also excelling in his field. In 2014 he competed in the WorldSkills National Competition and came fourth. He followed this with a second placing in the Australian Wall and Ceiling Industry competition in New Zealand and then in 2016 he won a Gold Medal in the WorldSkills National Competition.
“WorldSkills was an experience and a half,” said Blake. When I competed in the nationals the second time I was much better prepared because I knew what the demands of the competition were and I knew what I had to do to better my performance the second time around.”
What this entailed was a great deal of persistence and commitment, practising and going to TAFE at night after a full days’ work and on the weekends. “It seemed like I was always practising but it was totally worth it in the end,” said Blake. “The other big factor in my success was the incredible support I had from my Dad, my TAFE teachers and my mentor. Because of them I enjoyed a once in a lifetime experience and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
It was this support that helped Blake make up his mind to do some further study at TAFE in order to qualify as a teacher.
“I would really like to give back to others coming through and help them like I was helped,” said Blake. “My mentor put in countless unpaid hours to get me to peak performance for WorldSkills and I would like to pay that forward.
“I would also like to encourage anyone who’s thinking about an apprenticeship to give it a go. If you’re a hands-on person then any sort of trade would be a great option. Plus you’ll meet a lot of good people and make great mates. And you never know, you might also find yourself at WorldSkills one day, also enjoying that once in a lifetime experience!”