HAVING been crowned one of the most talented young joiners in the country, an apprentice is in the running to represent the UK in an international skills competition.

Ross Fiori, who lives in Langley and works at Langley Furniture Works, is in the running to represent Squad UK in the EuroSkills competition in Graz, Austria, in September.

It comes off the back of him coming second in the joinery category of the National SkillBuild competition in Birmingham, the contest pitting trainees and apprentices in the construction trade against each other in a number of skill-based challenges.

As part of Squad UK, Ross will undertake five days of ‘back to basics training’ to try to make the national team to compete in Austria. Should he, and his home nation, be successful in the championships, there is the chance to represent the UK against international opponents in the Worldskills event in Shanghai, China, next year.

Ross said: “Competing in the UK finals was already an amazing experience, but to be potentially representing the UK internationally takes it to another level.”

To complement his employment at Langley Furniture Works, Ross is currently completing his Level 2 bench joinery apprenticeship at Carlisle College.

The college’s principal, Grant Glendinning, said: “This is an incredible achievement and it reflects the high level of skills and professional attitude Ross has shown at college, at his workplace and throughout the competition.”

The National SkillBuild competition, in which Ross was runner-up, was a high profile event, and Mark Miller, a carpenter in the BBC show DIY SOS, was special guest.

He said: “Events like this open people’s eyes and give them a glimpse into a career in construction.

“We put roofs over people’s heads and can be proud of what we do.

“The world is your oyster if you qualify with an apprenticeship.”

The EuroSkills event will run competitions for trainees and apprentices in a variety of industries, including construction and building, manufacturing and engineering, information and communication, creative arts and fashion, social and personal services, transportation and logistics and demonstrations and presentation skills.