Culinary Arts national finalist Aiyeesha explains how taking part in WorldSkills UK Competitions has benefited her career as a chef de partie.
Aiyeesha knew early on the best route for her to enter the world of work. “I wanted to be an apprentice, so I could work and learn at the same time.” She came to know about WorldSkills UK Competitions through her tutor at Gwrwp Llandrillo Menai who put her forward for the Culinary Arts category, and in 2018 she succeeded at the regional heats and entered the National Finals at the NEC in Birmingham where she was up against ten other competitors.
Talking about her experiences in competing Aiyeesha responds, “I have really enjoyed taking part in the WorldSkills UK Competition in Culinary Arts, especially the amount of skills I have learned in such a short space of time.”
It has benefited both my career and myself in many ways. I have learned new skills through competing and use these in my work and life every day.
It hasn’t always been an easy ride though, she adds, “A challenge for me has been my level of self- confidence but competing helped me to build this up and I am still now improving every day.”
Aiyeesha is looking forward to a bright future, “I plan to continue working as a Chef De Partie and am currently working at the Catch 22 Brasserie a contemporary family-run restaurant on the Isle of Anglesey and sometime in the future I would love to teach young people how to cook and share my skills with them.”
In the meantime, as a WorldSkillls UK Skills Champion she is aiming to enthuse young people about the possibilities for their own career paths and adds, “I want to give something back to WorldSkills UK as competing has really opened a lot of doors for me.”
The benefits of taking part in a WorldSkills UK Competition is something Aiyeesha would like more young people to benefit from, “For someone thinking about entering a competition I would say – grab it with both hands – it will be one of the best things you ever do.”
Asked what she would like to see change for young people thinking about an apprenticeship or technical training Aiyeesha says, “I’d like to see more work experience tasters, so they can get a taste of what they want to do before deciding.”