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Brennan scores top honours at Global Skills Challenge

Queensland refrigeration apprentice Patrick Brennan has taken the gold medal at the WorldSkills Global Skills Challenge held in Melbourne last weekend.

The competition covered not just refrigeration, but more than 20 other skill categories, from bricklaying to baking. It brought together 500 competitors and officials from 15 different countries and was hosted in several Victorian TAFE campuses, including Kangan ACE and Richmond, Holmesglen at Chadstone and Moorabbin and RMIT in Melbourne city.

The event was the final selection process for hundreds of young apprentices and trainees hoping to represent their country at the upcoming 45th WorldSkills International Championships. The championship will be held in Kazan, Russia in August, where an anticipated audience of 250,000 will watch competitors from 80 counties compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and the title of world champion in their skill.

For Brennan, the test was a stern one, putting him up against young fridgies from nine other countries, including the gold- and silver-winning countries at the last WorldSkills International Championship. Over the first three days competitors had to install and commission a glycol refrigeration system. The fourth and final day was fault-finding and an air conditioning retrofit.

Brennan excelled, winning not only his category, but also the Best in Nation award for the highest points score in his country across all skills. His place on the plane to Russia as part of the Skillaroos team is now confirmed.

“I’m over the moon,” says Brennan. “It was a big tick for me and (trainer) Carl Balke to see that we’re at the pointy end not only of our skills but of our country as well.”

Header photo courtesy of WorldSkills Australia.

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