A Victoria University-trained plumber proved he’s among the best on the planet after winning a bronze medal at the International WorldSkills championships in Brazil last weekend.
Dylan Di Martino won the medal after challenging 27 other national champions from around the world in a gruelling three-day competition.
WorldSkills – held every two years and known as the Olympics of vocational training – drew more than 1000 of the world’s top apprentices to test their skills in 45 professions ranging from hairdressing to welding.
The 21-year-old Hillside resident earned his spot to compete for Australia’s team, the Skillaroos, after winning gold in the nationals in Perth last September and silver in the Oceania titles in New Zealand in April.
The world contest required Dylan to order supplies, then design, build, and test various plumbing and gas systems alongside other competitors in Masterchef-like work bays.
“I learned some lessons from the Oceania contest when I ran out of time and couldn’t pressure-test everything, so I sacrificed a little quality to complete my jobs this time,” he said.
As in the Olympics, contestants joined in WorldSkills opening and closing ceremonies, following their county’s flags into Sao Paulo’s 400,000-square-metre Anhembi Park exhibition centre.
Dylan may have proved himself to be a champion plumber on the world stage, but his father – a long-time plumber who inspired Dylan to enter the profession and is now Dylan’s boss – expected his son back at work the day after he returned.
His large family surprised him at the airport with flags and horns after making him believe no one would be in the arrivals hall to greet him and hear about the tough competition, after parties and transcontinental flights.
Dylan recently completed his apprenticeship at VU’s Sunshine Campus trades hub, and acknowledged the role of his plumbing teacher, Jeff Crole, in his success.
The young plumber hopes to remain connected to WorldSkills either as a judge or a trainer for other up-and-coming plumbers in future competitions.
“VU was good to me and I want to give something back,” he said.