Joey Ussher wins prestigious international award to train in Europe following Worldskills gold medal

On the back of his gold medal win at the WorldSkills National Championships earlier this year, Nambucca Heads auto electrical apprentice Joseph Ussher has won an international award to develop his skills overseas.

Joe Ussher holding his trophy with his parents  Veronica (Ronnie) and Bill at the awards night.

Joe Ussher holding his trophy with his parents Veronica (Ronnie) and Bill at the awards night.

Recognising his outstanding industry skills in the auto electrical field, Joey was presented with an $8,000 award from not-for-profit organisation BBM Youth Support, at Parliament House Sydney on November 5. 

The award enables Joey, 21, to travel to the UK to advance his industry knowledge and learn new skills not readily available in Australia. He plans to travel to England mid-year next year, during the European summer, where he’ll work for a couple of months with leaders in the auto electrical industry.

Melanie Stray, CEO of BBM Youth Support said the BBM awards judging panel recognised Joey as an extraordinary professional, who demonstrates not only excellence in his skills but also ambition and industry leadership well beyond what could be expected from a young person his age. 

Joe with his parents Ronnie and Bill at the awards reception at Parliament House earlier this month

Joe with his parents Ronnie and Bill at the awards reception at Parliament House earlier this month

“He had already proven his extraordinary skills as a WorldSkills Champion, and the BBM Youth Support Award recognises his keen interest in industry trends, outstanding networking skills and desire to take a lead in his industry and community,” Melanie said.

The award is designed to be a self-directed learning experience to give young people a chance to not only improve their professional development, but to grow in confidence and build their own aspiration for the future. Awardees bring this knowledge back to inspire others in their community to build a better future for Australia.

Joey has very clear goals for his award journey and said he aspires to become “a leading tradesman in my field, support the development of the automotive industry in Australia and guide the next generation of tradespeople.”

“Different countries develop different skills and equipment, and the opportunity to immerse myself in challenging environments abroad will strengthen my skills and broaden my knowledge,” Joey said.

Group photo of the 2018 BBM Youth Support Awardees on the stairs of Parliament House.

Group photo of the 2018 BBM Youth Support Awardees on the stairs of Parliament House.

“This BBM Youth Support scholarship will provide me with unbelievable opportunities overseas to strengthen and develop my skills. I am especially thankful to WorldSkills Australia for the national competition that kick started this wonderful adventure. 

“To my team at TNTAuto Sparks Pty Ltd, Trev, Tasha Sparks, Matt and Michael Lewis, I would not be where I am today without your training and support, I am forever grateful. I look forward to returning with new skills and knowledge.” 

Read about Joey’s journey so far:

BBM Youth Support CEO Melanie Stray feels that these kind of development opportunities are all too rare for the young people of Australia. 

“We believe that successful young people create more opportunities for themselves and others, and we know that these award experiences help young people grow both personally and professionally. 

“These awards have been running since 1983, and many of our alumni have brought back skills and new perspectives to Australia, inspiring other young people to go out there and fulfil their potential. This ripple effect will help Australia have a better future, and I’m proud to be a part of this.

Joe Ussher (right) with fellow awardees Matt Brandt from Maitland (left) and Connor Linz from Fingal Bay (centre).

Joe Ussher (right) with fellow awardees Matt Brandt from Maitland (left) and Connor Linz from Fingal Bay (centre).

“We are thrilled to work with partners like WorldSkills Australia, who recognise and support the talented young Australians and contribute their industry expertise on the award judging panel,” Melanie Stray said.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the BBM Youth Support Awards. 

Brett Judd, CEO WorldSkills Australia, said the organisation has been empowering excellence in young Australians since 1981 and the 15 new recipients now have the opportunity to further develop not only their technical skills, but their resilience and confidence. 

“Our partnership with BBM Youth Support is incredibly important and we thank the Board and Leadership team for their tireless work and ongoing support,” Brett Judd said.

BBM Youth Support offers awards in the agriculture, horticulture, trades and the performing arts.

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