Former Coleg y Cymoedd apprentice and plumbing and heating star to compete at WorldSkills Lyon 2024

A former Plumbing and Heating apprentice from Coleg y Cymoedd has been selected to represent the UK at WorldSkills Lyon 2024, the world’s largest skills competition often referred to as the ‘skills Olympics’.

Ruben Duggan, 22, from Blackwood, will compete as part of Team UK at the prestigious event, which takes place from 10 – 15 September in France. He will face the best young plumbers and heating engineers from around the world, with the aim of being crowned the global champion in his skill.

Team UK is selected, mentored and trained by WorldSkills UK, in partnership with the world’s leading learning company Pearson. The team consists of 32 young professionals from a range of sectors, who have been training hard for this once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage.

The WorldSkills Competition, which has been running since 1953, is used by governments, economists and global business leaders as a benchmark to measure the skills gap and preparedness for future economic growth. At WorldSkills Lyon 2024, 1,500 competitors from more than 65 countries and regions will compete in 62 professions, ranging from carpentry and floristry to cyber security and robotics.

Ruben, who completed his apprenticeship with Coleg y Cymoedd and Powerserv LTD said: “I’m over the moon to be selected for Team UK and to have the chance to represent my country and my college at WorldSkills Lyon 2024. It’s a huge honour and a great challenge, but I’m ready to give it my all and hopefully bring home a medal. I’m very grateful to my tutors, especially Lee Perry, my employers and WorldSkills UK for their support and guidance throughout my journey.”

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “WorldSkills Lyon 2024 – think the Olympic Games – where the prize is the world-class skills that UK employers are crying out for.

“The UK’s participation in the ‘skills Olympics’ will provide vital insights to ensure we can develop our apprenticeship and training programmes, to make them truly world- class. “

Freya Thomas Monk, Managing Director of Vocational Qualifications and Training at Pearson, said: “Pearson shares many goals with WorldSkills UK – celebrating the best of vocational and technical education, raising awareness and the prestige of the sector and supporting young people to set benchmarks of excellence in their chosen fields.

“I hope the Team UK members take pride in the fact that their dedication and talent have rightfully earned them a place in this prestigious competition.

The skills they have honed, and the standards they have worked so hard to reach, represent the very best our nation has to offer. Here at Pearson we are cheering you on every step of the way.”

Jonathan Morgan, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We are delighted that Ruben has been selected for Team UK and we wish him all the best for the competition. He is a fantastic example of the high-quality skills and work ethic that our apprentices develop at Coleg y Cymoedd and in the workplace. He has a bright future ahead of him and we are very proud of his achievements.”

WorldSkills Lyon 2024, the 47th WorldSkills Competition, will take place from 10-15 September.

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