AN Eastleigh student is one step closer to representing the UK at a global trade skills competition.

Joseph Conroy, a Level 3 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprentice at Eastleigh College, has been selected for Squad UK – a talent pool which decides who will compete at WorldSkills.

The contest will be held in Brazil next year, including 800 competitors from 50 countries in 45 trade skills.

To prepare Joseph will complete his Level 2 and 3 Electrical Testing and Inspection training.

He said: “I feel very happy and excited to have made the squad, but I know I’ve got some intense training and tests coming up so I’m just eager to get going! I’m really looking forward to my next competition, even though they are stressful and really high pressure, it’s fun and satisfying when it all comes together.”

Last year Joseph placed third in the UK SkillsFridge final.

Eastleigh College lecturer in refrigeration and air conditioning, Shaun Creech, said: “This is really good news! Joseph has worked really hard to get to this stage and will have to work even harder to get into Team UK. He is a really determined individual and will work himself into the ground to achieve.”