Chris Bailie, of Toshiba Air Conditioning accredited installer BL Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, has been selected for Squad UK to compete for a place in the refrigeration and air conditioning section of the WorldSkills championships, being held in São Paulo next year.
Worldskills drives excellence in the workplace through competition and every two years holds the largest skills competition in the world. More than 1000 young people between 18 and 25 will gather from more than 60 countries to compete for medals in 40 different professional trades.
Mr Bailie will spend the next 10 months preparing for the final selection, which takes place in May 2015. From the initial 100 members of Squad UK, an elite group of 37 apprentices will be chosen to represent Great Britain in WorldSkills in Brazil next August.
“It is a huge honour and privilege to represent the industry,” said Mr Bailie. “I have had tremendous support from my employers and trainers, they have backed me to the hilt. It goes without saying that I will do my very best at every stage.”
This crowns a spectacularly successful year for Mr Bailie. After strong performances in Northern Ireland regional skills competitions, he was selected in November to compete against 100 other air conditioning and refrigeration apprentices at the national UK skills competition, held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. After an intensive three days, Mr Bailie was awarded the gold medal.
An apprentice at Belfast-based contractor BL Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Mr Bailie attended Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Regional College (SERC).
Keith Elliot, BL’s technical director, said: “We are hugely proud of Chris and his achievement. Chris has already brought the glow of gold home to us here in Belfast. It goes without saying that we will be supporting him in every way we can over the coming months, to give him the very best chance of success in the WorldSkills finals.”
WorldSkills 2015 takes place on 11-16 August, in São Paul, Brazil.