Competition

Team Cheshire College win multiple medals in WorldSkills UK finals

  • Learners from Cheshire College – South & West took part in this year’s WorldSkills UK Competition between 15 – 17 November. 
  • Alongside being highly commended in a variety of categories, learners won a silver medal in the Culinary Arts category and bronze medals in the Nail Technician and Graphic Design categories.  
  • As a result of the learner’s success, the College was ranked 10th in the final medals table, made up of 84 colleges and employers.

Three learners from Cheshire College – South & West have won silver and bronze medals at this year’s WorldSkills UK Competitions. The competition took place between 15 – 17 November at the NEC Birmingham, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the country’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. The learners competed against skilled finalists from all over the UK in front of over 70,000 visitors at WorldSkills UK Live.  

Richard Postles, 19, former learner at County High School Leftwich, studying Level 3 Professional Cookery Diploma, competed against the top eight Culinary Arts finalists and won a silver medal at his first WorldSkills Competition. Richard said: ‘’It was exciting to be cooking in front of the crowd, but I had to keep focused to ensure I was meeting the judge’s high standards. 

‘’The entire competition was phenomenal. It was my first time competing and I won a silver medal. It was overwhelming when they called my name.  

‘’I am truly grateful for the tutors that encouraged us to get involved. It is a great experience to add to my CV and a perfect start to my career.’’ 

Emily Misson, 24, former learner at Bishop’s Blue Coat High School, who recently completed her Level 3 Nail Technician Diploma, competed against other Nail Technicians to win a bronze medal. Emily said: ‘’My WorldSkills UK journey has been amazing. I have been in lots of competitions before, but nothing quite like this one.  

‘’I was more excited than nervous heading into the finals. I came first in the heats, so I was feeling confident that I could impress the judges. I was thrilled when they announced I had come third and won the bronze medal. 

‘’It hasn’t really sunk in how far I’ve come since starting my nail course two years ago. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the incredible support, I have had from my tutor Andrea. She has been my role model.

Weronika Machnicka, 18, former learner at Ruskin High School, studying Level 3 Art and Design (Graphic) Extended Diploma, also won a bronze medal after competing in various graphic design challenges. Weronika said: ‘’Being involved in the WorldSkills UK Competition was such a surreal experience. I never imagined it would be as big and extravagant.  

‘’It was a massive surprise winning a Bronze Medal. I was over joyed when my name was called. It was over whelming. 

‘’The College has been brilliant throughout the entire process. The experience is great for my CV and my confidence has improved. This is the start of a fantastic journey into the Graphic Design industry.’’ 

WorldSkills UK Competitions are run in over 60 skill areas and are proven to help people go further, faster in their training and chosen career.  

As a result of the learner’s success, the College was ranked 10th in the final medals table, made up of 84 colleges and employers. 

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Congratulations to all learners from Cheshire College – South & West, it is a fantastic achievement.  

“The competition was fierce and the standards very high. All of the learner’s hard work and dedication has been rewarded and we at WorldSkills UK salute you.  

“Our competitions equip apprentices and learners with the lifelong, world-class skills that will drive up training standards to the highest level to help boost UK productivity and competitiveness.”

Dhesi, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, commented: ‘’We’re extremely proud of our learners and their achievements. They have been determined and hardworking both preparing and competing in this event. 

‘’I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to achieve this remarkable result.’’  

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses) or visit ccswdev.wpengine.com 

College students selected to represent Great Britain

Two Cheshire College – South & West students have recently been selected to represent Great Britain in the European Team Gymnastics Championships in Portugal this October.

Sharni Jones, 17, former student at The Oaks Academy, joined Cheshire College – South and West in 2017, studying A Level Law, Psychology and Biology. Sharni is preparing to compete in the Junior Mixed Category, with nine other countries.

Sharni said: ‘’I was extremely happy about being selected to be part of the team representing Great Britain. The entire process has been exciting. The best bit has been meeting and going out with the team.

‘’We have been training loads and travelling down to London to take part in training camps. I have been going over my routines every day to ensure I am ready.

‘’The staff and students at College have been really supportive, everyone is really nice and friendly. I am enjoying my time here and I hope to go on to study Paramedic Science at University next year.’’

Kyle Everall, 17, also former student at The Oaks Academy, originally started College studying Level 3 Public Services, but quickly realised he would prefer Level 3 Sports. Kyle will be competing in the Junior Men’s Category, with five other nations next week in Portugal.

Kyle commented: ‘’The entire experience so far has been incredibly exciting. It is completely different to anything I have ever done before and I have been given the opportunity to meet so many new people.

‘’I was ecstatic when I first found out I had been selected. It has been hard work preparing for the finals, but I have just been focusing on mastering the routines. I can’t wait to compete in front of everyone there.

‘’I have loved studying at College. It is such a nice environment to be in and the Sports Lecturers have been really supportive. ’’

Sharni and Kyle both started training in artistic gymnastics, at Camm St Gym in Crewe at aged 3. After several years they progressed into Team Gym, which originated in Denmark, and is all about floor routines, tumbles and trampets. The young athletes are no strangers to challenges, since a young age they have been competing in a variety of open competitions and started competing yearly in the British Championships at the Echo Arena.

There are 68 gymnasts competing for Great Britain in Portugal this October, with around 34 in the Junior section.

Sharni and Kyle flew out to Lisbon on Monday, ready for the qualifiers today, with the finals scheduled to take place on Friday 19th October. The Championships will be streamed live on BBC Sport’s Red Button and YouTube.

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Chief Executive Officer said: ‘’We are extremely proud of what Sharni and Kyle have achieved. It’s encouraging to see young learners developing as sportsmen and women as well as achieving relevant qualifications that will help them in the future.

‘’We wish them the best of luck in the rest of their Championship journey and look forward to hearing about their time in Portugal when they return.’’

Follow us on social media to keep updated with their Championship Journey.

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 / 01244 656555 or visit ccsw.ac.uk.

A cut above the rest

Top hairdressing, barber and beauty students from Cheshire College – South & West sailed through two rounds of gruelling competitions to qualify for, The Blackpool Hairdressing Competition National Finals, this month.

The pre-qualifications comprising of two dedicated categories began back in January, with 12 students taking part in the ‘cut and blow’ competition, along with 13 students in the avant-gared themed ‘Fantasy’ competition. The top three students in each category were selected by a panel of outside judges and given the chance to then compete at The Blackpool Hairdressing Competition’s Regional Finals.

Heading up the judging panel was UK based hairstylist, Richard Phillipart, an expert stylist working across fashion, advertising and education.

Karen Bennison, Level 3 & 4 Curriculum Leader in Hairdressing at Cheshire College – South & West commented: “It was a huge honour and privilege to have Richard join us at our in-house competition to determine the winners and competition entries for the regional hairdressing awards.

“Richard is a member of the L’Oreal Professional team. He also works with Babyliss, is the owner of successful salons and has been involved in countless New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. It was therefore great to be able to have his eye and opinion at our competition. Not only that but he also awarded the winner, Sharon Besong, with the opportunity to support his team at the Chester Cathedral Catwalk last month.”

Sharon Besong, 39 from Ellesmere Port, and a Level 3 Diploma Hairdressing Student at Cheshire College – South & West added: “It was amazing to work alongside Richard and watch him work. I was able to join in at the fashion workshop prior to the catwalk so I got to see everything in action first hand. It’s a fast paced environment, but also a huge buzz and amazing to be a part of. It was an absolute great experience and a treasured memory. Hopefully I’ll gain more opportunities such as this throughout my career.”

Students who claimed the top three placements at the in-house competition subsequently made the final cut to take part at the Regionals. This was held in Blackpool in February and saw Kayley Daniells, 31 from Chester, claim third place in the ‘Fantasy’ competition, alongside Sharon Besong and Akhsa Tariq who also came third in the ‘Team Bridal’ category comprising hair and make-up. This gave them immediate entry into the Nationals.

Accompanying the hairdressing and beauty team, student barbers, Jenny Ankers, 32 from Chester and Nathan Ryan, 24 from Flint also progressed through to the Nationals. Cheshire College – South & West gain a lot of support from employer engagement links, and Oliver Foster, a panellist at the Great British Barbers and Head of Education at Number 47 Barbers also travelled to Blackpool to encourage the finalists.

Karen went on to say: “The Blackpool Hairdressing Competition has grown over the years and now commands the attention of world-class players in the industry. It is a highly prestigious and established awards scheme, celebrating upcoming talent and encouraging development.

“The Nationals took place last week and the competition was fierce. Whilst we didn’t come away with any podium finishes, it was excellent experience for the students and an opportunity to boost their profiles within the sector. I am really proud of all the students that took part – they did a remarkable job.”

For more information on studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or if you would like more information on the courses available, visit ccsw.ac.uk or call the College hotline on 01244 656555.