NORTHERN Rivers hairdressing and cookery students battled it out against their peers yesterday for the last round of the WorldSkills Australia Competition.

Students, trainees and apprentices in their chosen fields have been competing at Wollongbar TAFE, with the aim of winning gold and getting the chance to compete on a national level, then world level next year.

Some of the fields students have been competing in include metal and engineering industries, hospitality services and computing and business.

Wollongbar TAFE Hair and Beauty head teacher Carol Robinson said the event gave students the chance to get recognised on a national and global level.

"You can see yourself and your skills grow ... it gives them an instant recognition of how well they're doing in their courses," she said.

Certificate 3 student Erica Moore, of Kyogle, takes part in the Worldskills Australia competition.
Certificate 3 student Erica Moore, of Kyogle, takes part in the Worldskills Australia competition. Marc Stapelberg

"Whoever wins at a national level will go compete at the world competition, and they will be highly trained, and represent Australia."

Commercial Cooking Certificate III apprentice Matthew Fox said he took part in the competition to gain a leg up in the industry.

"I thought it would look good on my resume, it's a good challenge, and I enjoy making menus," he said.

Commercial cooking teacher David Forster said the competition would help students in the long term.

"What students will get out of this is not today, not next week, but it's in years to come," he said. "It ups their skills and also the contacts within the hospitality and the cooking industry."

Hairdressing teacher Sharon Hancock said the competitions would benefit students and industry alike.

"It's fantastic for their professional development, it's also great for industry as a whole," she said.

Thirty-one regions across the country took part in the WorldSkills Competitions.

The competition welcomes apprentices, trainees and students aged between 18 and 23.

More than 4000 students competed in WorldSkills this year.