A 26-year-old from Llanishen has won gold in the Beauty Therapy – Body, final of a national skills competition.
Skills Competition Wales is a Welsh Government-backed series of events designed to celebrate vocational skills and create a highly skilled Welsh workforce for the future.
With Olympic athletes training hard for the imminent games in Rio, Victoria Paquet is just one of 78 Welsh youngsters who have been perfecting their skills in a bid to win a medal. Across a range of vocations from graphic design to patisserie, these budding skilled champions, like Olympians, have been training hard this year.
Victoria, from Cardiff and Vale College, competed against six other students from across Wales. Finalists completed a series of body treatment challenges within a two and a half hour time period, including a faradic massage which focuses on massage therapy, back scrub, back massage and facial.
Victoria, who is studying a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty and Spa Therapy, said she is thrilled to have won.
“The competition felt very professional, I didn’t think I would come close to winning as the standard was so high amongst all the competitors. It was stressful but I managed to get all the treatments done in the time limit which really pushed me!
“I’ve wanted to pursue a career in beauty therapy for years and I’m glad I have the confidence to do it now. My tutors have been really supportive throughout the competition and winning has really made me think about what opportunities I have now.”
Skills Competition Wales forms part of the Welsh Government’s Growth and Sustainable Jobs Programme, designed to promote the importance of vocational skills with the aim of boosting the overall skill capabilities and prosperity of Wales.
The camapign is supported by the European Social Fund and the Welsh Government, and run by a network of colleges and work based learning providers, a total of 33 local Skills Competitions will be taking place between February and April, in a range of sectors from forensic science and car mechanics to web design and nail art.
Victoria may go forward to represent Cardiff and Vale College in the Beauty Therapy WorldSkills UK heat, with the aim of potentially representing Team Wales at this year’s Skills Show in Birmingham in November.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James AM said:
“Year on year the level of talent at Skills Competition Wales keeps on improving. These events encourage healthy competition and are a great way of recognising the fantastic talent that we have in our country.
“Colleges and work-based learning providers across Wales are already involved in the Skills Competition Wales initiative and have played a huge part in organising the heats and finals, but we’re keen to see more Welsh businesses support their talented young employees and encourage them to enter.”
The Deputy Minister added: “It takes a lot of hard work to get to the final round but to win gold is a fantastic achievement. It is clear that all the competitors are extremely passionate and determined to be named the best in Wales.
“We wish Victoria and all the other finalists and winners the very best of luck, not only in the next round of the competitions, but also in their future careers.”