An apprentice joiner will take on the best Europe has to offer at an international competition.

Carlisle College apprentice Ross Fiori, who works for Langley Furniture Works, in Hexham, will join 13 of the UK’s best young apprentices and professionals in Team UK at the EuroSkills event in January.

The members of Team UK, who have been selected, trained and mentored by education and skills charity WorldSkills UK, plan to head to Graz, in Austria, in January to do battle with more than 500 competitors from 28 countries who practice 45 different skills disciplines.

Ross, who is being trained and mentored by Andrew Pengelly, WorldSkills UK training manager and lecturer at Chichester College, has already been through a year long process of regional competition, national finals and team selection.

Ross said: “Training in lockdown hasn’t been easy but we have adapted our preparations and I’m so excited to be representing the country at EuroSkills.

“My employer Langley Furniture Works and Carlisle College have been really supportive, and I can’t wait to get out to Austria and compete.”

Grant Glendinning, executive principal for NCG North (Carlisle and Newcastle Colleges), said: “We are incredibly proud to hear that Ross has been selected to represent the UK at EuroSkills.

“To be selected as one of only 14 of the UK’s best young apprentices and professionals which make up Team UK is a fantastic achievement.

“All at Carlisle College wish Ross all the best for the competition in January, it will be a brilliant experience and we look forward to hearing all about it. Ross has a great future ahead of him.”

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, WorldSkills chief executive, said: “Forget the Euros next season, this is going to be epic, and far more fundamental to the future of our country – demonstrating the next generation is developing the skills we need to help build back better our economy and remain internationally competitive.There has been so much conjecture as to how the United Kingdom will fare in terms of skills performance. Congratulations to Ross and I wish him and Andrew the best of luck with their training for EuroSkills.”