AN aeronautical mechanical engineering apprentice at QinetiQ, based at MOD Boscombe Down, is one step closer to representing the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015.

After competing in hard fought selection competitions in aircraft maintenance, and excelling at the WorldSkills UK National Skills Competitions, Joe Hedley will now spend the next 11 months training ahead of competing for a coveted place in the team that will represent the UK.

WorldSkills is the largest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years, the competition sees around 1,000 young people, aged 18-25, from all over the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including aircraft maintenance, web design, cooking and bricklaying.

The Squad UK selection events took place in Nottingham and Belfast, with 160 young people competing across 37 skills.

Mr Hedley, a 4th year apprentice, said: “I’m really delighted to have been chosen for Squad UK.

“It’s a real honour to be part of the competition and to be recognised for my work and skills in aircraft maintenance and for QinetiQ to be acknowledged as a fantastic apprentice training provider.

Head of the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School Melanie Jackson said: “We are extremely proud of Joe and his achievements.

“WorldSkills UK is a very valuable opportunity for apprentices to improve skills and confidence and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

The national UK final will be held at the NEC from November 13 to 15 and the international event in São Paulo, the first time it has been held in Latin America, will be from August 11 to 16 next year.