Certificate III in Plumbing
Doing something different every day
Living in a small coastal town in New South Wales, Bob Sheridan-Gimmel wasn’t exactly spoilt for choice in apprenticeship options. Plumbing was available, so without very high expectations he thought he’d ‘give it a crack’. As it turned out, Bob has risen to the heights of his profession, excelling as he progressed through his studies and emerging as a Gold Medal winner at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.
“In the final years of school I wrestled with deciding whether to go to university or do a trade,” said Bob. “I knew that I couldn’t hack sitting down all day, I needed to do something hands-on, so opted for a trade. Although my apprenticeship chose me, I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out. There’s a lot more involved in plumbing than I thought and I’m doing something different every day.”
As he progressed through TAFE, Bob’s capabilities and work ethic attracted the attention of his teachers, who thought he’d be an excellent candidate to try out for the WorldSkills 2016 National Competition.
“They thought I had a pretty good chance, so I thought I’d give it a shot,” said Bob. “As it turned out, I won a Gold Medal. I couldn’t have done it without the teachers at TAFE NSW Illawarra-Wollongong Campus—one of them turned out to be a WorldSkills judge, so I was very lucky to be in such good hands. WorldSkills was a very full on, unreal experience, and certainly helped to open some doors. Every time I think about it I’m really happy.”
Bob is also really happy with how things have turned out for him. “The plumbing trade offers a positive, healthy lifestyle for someone who enjoys being active—and there’s a variety of avenues to choose from after you qualify. There’s always something different and challenging to do, and I get a real buzz out of doing a good job and having happy customers. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s what makes me look forward to coming to work every day.”