Jimboomba local Nathan McHugh will head to China on the 9th April to undertake four days of intensive training at the Guangzhou Invitation Tournament in China.

The 21-year-old was selected last year as a member of WorldSkills Australia’s Skills Squad, following his success at the National Refrigeration Competition in May 2016 and was awarded gold medalist then, prior to the WorldSkills national competition in October. His success at the National Refrigeration Competition allowed Nathan to use the WorldSkills national competition as a training exercise to develop his skills even further.

Following the national competition, Nathan headed to Germany to attend the annual Chillventa Exhibition. Nathan is working steadily towards selection to represent Australia at the international competition, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from 14-19 October 2017. Nathan’s efforts to reach the international competition are also generously supported by WorldSkills Gold Partner Heatcraft.

During the China trip Nathan will be accompanied by his dedicated skills mentor and trainer, Carl Balke, Leading Vocational Teacher, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at TAFE Queensland Skillstech. Mr Balke is also an international refrigeration and air conditioning expert with WorldSkills Australia.

Nathan will train alongside the Chinese team, who are preparing for a national competition in China in June. Mr Balke said the training was a valuable opportunity for Nathan to test his skills in the lead-up to possible selection for the Abu Dhabi competition. In Abu Dhabi, the refrigeration and air conditioning category will see 26 countries competing over four days.

Nathan said the opportunities he had been given since his involvement with WorldSkills were “astounding”.

“It has boosted my confidence and inspired me to push myself further, opened up opportunities for international travel and led to work experience prospects and job offers,” he said.

Nathan said he enjoyed the daily challenges of his trade because “finding faults exercises your mental and physical capabilities”.

“Every day when I go to work I am provided with the opportunity to learn something new, whether that is through figuring out my own solutions or learning from other tradies,” he said.

WorldSkills Australia CEO Brett Judd congratulated Nathan on his success to date and said: “I can’t wait to see what the Skills Squad members can achieve on the international stage.”