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AUTOMOTIVE apprentice Lockie Hipkins will be packing his bags for Lyon, France this September to represent Australia at the 47th WorldSkills International competition.

Mr Hipkins was hand-picked by the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW) to join the 2024 Skillaroos Training Squad after an impressive performance in the Autobody Repair category at the recent WorldSkills National Championships in Melbourne.

The Ballina-based auto body repair apprentice and product of MTA NSW training was nominated due to his outstanding performance at the WorldSkills National Championships in August last year where he showed he is one of Australia’s finest young talents in the automotive industry.

Lockie Hipkins

As part of the 2024 Skillaroos Training Squad Mr Hipkins will undergo rigorous tuition in preparation for the competition in France, with the first training camp already completed last November and others scheduled throughout the year to ensure he and fellow competitors are fully equipped to compete on the global stage.

MTA NSW CEO Stavros Yallouridis congratulated Mr Hipkins on his achievement and the dedication shown by all MTA NSW apprentices.

“Lockie’s success is a testament to the commitment and expertise our apprentices bring to the automotive industry. “We’re incredibly proud of him and look forward to watching him shine on the international stage representing Australia,” Mr Yallouridis said.

“MTA NSW is deeply committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of automotive professionals and Lockie’s achievements emphasise the quality of training and opportunities we provide to our apprentices.”

“Lockie’s journey is a result of hard work, dedication, and the ongoing support of MTA NSW.

Mr Hipkins said he was “honoured to represent Australia at the 47th WorldSkills International Competition and will give my all to make everyone proud of me on the global stage”.

“I’ve had the privilege of learning from some of the best in the industry, and I owe a debt of gratitude to my mentors who have shared their expertise and guided me on this path.

MTA NSW registered training organisation general manager Ian Price expressed his admiration and support for Mr Hipkins.

“We’re immensely proud of Lockie’s achievements and the calibre of talent our organisation helps to nurture,” he said.

“Lockie’s success is a personal triumph while reinforcing our commitment as an organisation to shaping the future of the automotive industry.”

MTA NSW is supporting Mr Hipkins by covering the cost of his flights, accommodation and training ahead of the event.

The organisation was a sponsor of last year’s WorldSkills National Championships, the most significant trades and skills competition in Australia and had six skilled apprentices representing MTA NSW at the event.

Mr Hipkins took home a silver medal in the Autobody Repair category while Newcastle apprentice Luke Callaway achieved a bronze medal in Auto Electrical, and spray painting apprentice Neha Singh received a Certificate Of Excellence for her outstanding performance in the Auto Refinishing competition.

By Peter Barnwell

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