A Coleg y Cymoedd student from Caerphilly has won a bronze medal at EuroSkills, after flying to Gdansk in Poland to compete in Europe’s biggest vocational education and skills excellence event.
Ruben Duggan, age 21, was participating in the Plumbing and Heating category at EuroSkills Gdansk 2023, the bi-annual European competition hosted by WorldSkills.
Over 600 competitors travelled to Poland from across Europe to showcase their technical knowledge and capabilities in a series of challenges in a bid to be crowned best in their field.
In addition to Ruben’s bronze medal success, two Welsh students were also awarded Medallions of Excellence, which recognises the achievement of world class standards.
Rhydian Brown, aged 19, from Wick, who studies at Cardiff University, was awarded a Medallion of Excellence in Web Development.
While Daniel Davies, aged 21, from Aberporth, who works at the restaurant Yr Hen Printworks and studied at Coleg Ceredigion, was awarded the same honour in the Restaurant Service category.
Speaking about his experience taking part in EuroSkills and other skills competitions, Ruben said:
“Competing in EuroSkills has been the most positive experience I could’ve wished for.
“Flying out to Gdansk to compete against the best in my trade has been amazing. Not only have I learned so much, but my tutor has too, as this is the first time he’s had a student get to EuroSkills.
“Conventional education wasn’t my strongest area, and I think skills competitions are an amazing opportunity to show your potential in a practical way; it helps to give everyone an even playing field for success.
“It feels unbelievable to have the bronze medal. I didn’t go to Gdansk to win a medal – taking part was key for me – so holding the medal in my hands feels absolutely brilliant. WorldSkills Lyon 2024 is my next challenge. Bring it on.”
WorldSkills inspires young people to develop a passion for skills and pursue excellence through national and international competitions.
More than 80 countries participate in WorldSkills, which helps develop skills through global training standards, benchmarking systems, and enhancing industry engagement.
In Wales, the project is funded by the Welsh Government and run by a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations from across the country.
The Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said:
“I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to Daniel, Rhydian and Ruben for their successes at EuroSkills Gdansk 2023. It’s fantastic to see their dedication, hard work and talent recognised on a global stage, and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements.
“The Welsh Government is committed to investing in our future generations and funding skills competition programmes is one of many ways we’re providing our young people with opportunities to develop world-class skills to give them the tools they need to build successful careers in the future.”
For more information on WorldSkills UK and how to start your journey as a competitor, tutor or employer in Wales, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/. More stories