International WorldSkills Competition – Kazan, Russia 2019 – Wrap Up

Posted on Sep 06, 2019

International WorldSkills Competition – Kazan, Russia 2019 – Wrap Up

A team of apprentices and trainees from across Australia (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) took on the world’s best in Russia.

Images Courtesy: WorldSkills Australia

15 competitors from Australia went to Russia for the WorldSkills International competition in August, including Paul Coon who won Gold at Global Skills ’19. Paul competed against the best bricklayers from countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Russia and more. Bricklayers were given four days to complete a range of different builds, all testing essential and creative skills.

Our very own, Victorian bricklayer Paul Coon has made us proud with his performance at the WorldSkills International Championships in Russia.

Paul has achieved a lot in this short span, his journey to the international championship began several years ago when he competed in the regional championship in 2015 and again in 2017, when he took home gold. He then went on to compete at the 2018 WorldSkills Australia National Championship in Sydney, where he won a bronze medal.

Paul then joined the Skills Squad, where he trained with a number of managers and competitors for several months, sharpening their skills and making a trip to China, before the Global Skills Challenge.

At the International competition, Paul Coon completed the gruelling and incredibly difficult projects set out for this high level of competition in Russia. After an extremely hectic four days, Paul completed the project of which the design has been particularly tough with five advanced modules needed to be completed.

The challenge, devised by an independent designer, was revealed the day before the competition was to kick off. The requirement was to create separate letters to form the word ‘Russia’ with various detailing in each letter, including a panel of render and curve cutting.



These photos of the projects clearly demonstrates the amazing skill required to undertake this challenge. The projects benchmark International Skills Excellence culminating knowledge the Apprentices have acquired during and post Apprenticeship.

ABBTF acknowledges how complex and involved these international projects are. It is an incredible achievement to get to this level and an even greater accomplishment to finish. We are very proud of what Paul has achieved.

Well done to Paul and Troy once again these achievements help maintain our image and set standards for skills excellence, not to mention the brilliant role models and success stories such as Paul’s they create.

This young man is no doubt going to be putting his feet up now and reflect on what he has achieved. We fully expect that he will have a long rewarding future to come back to when he lands back on our shores!


Partner photo with Paul Coon, Paul Duggan (ABBTF Regional Field Officer – NSW/ACT), Troy Everett along with Eric Davies.

Passionate about bringing an international perspective to his work with Paul, Chief Expert in Bricklaying, Troy Everett, has been a mentor for more than two decades. Troy finds being a mentor really satisfying, complementing his skills and training well.

“I savour every moment because each time it is so very different. The international organisation is so well run and progressing at such a fast rate it’s exciting to be involved. The emotions of seeing a competitor you have trained compete at the highest level is also very special,” he said.

Eric Davies, another one of Paul’s Experts, shares Mr Everett’s excitement for the upcoming championships. “It has been an honour and a pleasure to have the opportunity to mentor and train Paul for the challenge that lies ahead of him in Kazan. I know he will do well for his family and Australia. I look forward to guiding Paul through this part of his Worldskills journey,” Mr Davies said.

Paul’s WorldSkills journey is generously supported by Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd Become a Bricklayer.

For over 12 years the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd (ABBTF) has been a keen supporter of WorldSkills at a Regional, National and International level.

The team at Become a Bricklayer (ABBTF) says “One of the ABBTF’s primary roles is to promote Bricklaying Trade Training Excellence and WorldSkills gives us the opportunity to identify and support success stories through the participation of individuals in this great event.

It also encourages and inspires engagement at a local level where others can relate to their transformations and triumphs.

Paul has been recognised nationally for his skills and hard work, we wish him every success and look forward to sharing his story amongst Industry.”

“I have already got a fair bit out of the WorldSkills experience — extra skills, contacts, confidence, travel and all the new ways of doing things better. I am the eldest and my youngest brother might follow in my footsteps and my sister seems interested in it, too. (My advice for others considering a trade is) you have got to make sure you enjoy it, just have a crack and give it a go.”

Paul Coon’s comments were originally published in Herald Sun: Australia’s best young tradies

Paul Coon reflects on journey to the WorldSkills International Championships.



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