Two students from the Centre of Excellence in Hair and Beauty at Riverside College have been celebrating their achievements after receiving a fantastic first place and fourth place in the national World Skills UK finals in Birmingham NEC this week.
Kerry Wilkinson and Lisa Merriman from Widnes, who both took part in the regional aromatherapy heats earlier this year, secured their place in last weekend’s final with fantastic scores.
Kerry and Lisa were joined by seven other finalists in Birmingham for a tough three day competition concluding with a glittering awards ceremony on Saturday evening, where Kerry was awarded the Gold medal and named as the best in the UK for aromatherapy and Lisa was placed in fourth place, receiving a highly commended award for her achievements.
Both students, who were accompanied to the finals by Sarah Fillaudeau, the Head of Complementary Therapies at Riverside College, have completed level 2 and 3 in Beauty and level 3 in Complementary Therapies at Riverside College. Lisa is now working for Clarins and Kerry is still at Riverside College, currently studying towards her teaching qualification.
Kerry said, “When I started my level 3 qualification in Beauty at Riverside I knew I wanted to go to the World Skills competition. We are trained really well here and Sarah has a tremendous amount of knowledge about the World Skills competition to pass on to us. I went to the finals feeling very prepared which really helped to settle my nerves.
“During the competition I tried to stay really focused and made sure I did everything to the best of my ability but was still really shocked and surprised when my name was announced as the Gold medal winner.
“I am really proud of myself and can’t stop smiling; it proves that if you work hard you get results.
“I have loved my time at Riverside College, I am now doing my teaching diploma there and would love to teach there in the future.”
Sarah Fillaudeau, Head of Complementary Therapies at Riverside College said, “I was extremely proud of Kerry and Lisa this weekend. They both did really well to reach the finals of the World Skills UK Competition and both worked exceptionally hard over the three day competition, which shows in their results. To have two students in the top four in the UK is an amazing achievement and this accolade will be fantastic for their future careers.”
Keith Smith, Director, The Skills Funding Agency and UK Official Delegate to WorldSkills International said: “I offer my congratulations to Kerry Wilkinson. It takes hard work, determination and a high level of skill to compete against the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners.
“By holding the WorldSkills UK National Competition Finals at The Skills Show we can showcase and celebrate the high levels of talent entering the UK’s workforce.”
World Skills UK Competitions inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. The Competitions are the highlight of The Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which took place from 14 – 16 November at the NEC Birmingham. Over 800 of the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners battled it out in 70 competitions ranging from Floristry to Mechanical Engineering to be named the ‘best in the UK’ in their chosen skill.