ARARAT - Ararat's Tim Taylor can lay claim to being one of the world's best up and coming mechanics after excelling on the international stage.
Mr Taylor recently returned to work at Ararat Automotive Services following his gold medal winning performance at the Worldskills International Competition in Germany.
The 21-year-old finished in front of 31 other competitors from across the globe to claim the top prize in the automobile technology section.
Mr Taylor also returned home with a second medal around his neck after achieving the highest score of an Australian at the competition, which also saw him finish fourth in the Best of Nations category.
"I wanted to do well and with the preparation that we had done I was confident I would do alright, but I didn't go in there thinking I was certain to win... I just believed it was a possibility," Mr Taylor said.
"The international event was spread over four days of competition and my one itself was broken into six modules of three hour competitions over the four days - It was pretty full on."
Mr Taylor's skills, expertise and ability to think on his feet were tested in a range of categories including engine management, break repair, electrical diagnosis, engine overhaul and rebuild, wheel alignment and suspension repair.
Mr Taylor said engine diagnosis was the unit he found the most challenging.
"They put a heap of faults in and it is really complicated work and a lot to do in three hours," he said.
"You'd fix one thing and go yeah it will start now and then just kept on finding more things wrong with it.
"The guys setting up the faults are professional trainers of main dealers like Volkswagen and Audi, and guys that run MasterTech Training so they were really out to catch people out and try and push them as far as they could.
"They had little switches up under the dash and wires running in places you couldn't even see. I got it going in the end and actually did pretty well in that unit but it was one of those ones where I was thinking flat out the whole time and it was pretty stressful."
The WordSkills competition has taken Mr Taylor around Australia and to a number of countries.
In the lead up to the international finals the local mechanic spent time in China, England and Sydney training and preparing for the demanding competition.
"The biggest part of training was familiarising yourself with the vehicles that would be used in the competition, but it is also training your thought processes and diagnostic procedures to be able to go 'ok this is a fault, this is how I approach diagnosing it' and streamline how you do things," Mr Taylor said.
"Also fitness training as well, because I was sprinting my guts out the whole of the time too.
"After each module I was happy because I had gone as hard as I could and in some units I thought I'd gone beyond what I was capable of doing.
"I'd trained on the engine in China and up in Sydney and I'd had it down to just under three hours to carry out repairs. In the competition they included another aspect which added half an hour's extra work and I still managed to fit that in and get it all done. On the day I guess I just went hell for leather."
The gold medal win has seen Mr Taylor acknowledged in State Parliament and he has also featured in an advertising campaign for the University of Ballarat since returning from Europe.
Mr Taylor said he was incredibly grateful to the team at Ararat Automotive Services for allowing him the time to pursue his ambition.
"I'd really like to thank my parents and employer for the support they have given me," he said.
"Also Grant Petch and John Francis from UB in Ballarat and Phil Austin from BMW Australia who were my main trainers that I have had throughout it all and they were all really helpful.
"Finally the Ballarat WorldSkills committee and Peter Morey especially."