Vanessa Dawson - Skills Champion and former Creative Media Make-Up Competitor
Since competing in 2016, Vanessa has volunteered as a WorldSkills UK Skills Champion to encourage more young people into technical education, started her own Beauty Academy and re-joined the 2019 competitions cycle to hone her skills even further.
Taking part in the 2016 WorldSkills UK Competitions cycle kick-started Vanessa’s career as a make-up artist and educator.
After winning a silver medal in Media Make-Up at the WorldSkills UK National Finals, she wanted to help other competitors on their WorldSkills UK journey. She now volunteers as a one of our Skills Champions – former competitors who use their experience and passion to inspire the next generation. She shares her story with young people across the UK, visiting schools and running workshops to encourage pupils to consider a technical career.
“I first learnt about WorldSkills UK Competitions through Rotherham College, where I was studying for an HNC,” Vanessa explains. “I went through a lot of specialised training and workshops – this helped me improve my skills and get stronger mentally, ready for the pressure of competition. The whole process was phenomenal. My confidence grew, and I really began to believe in myself and my skills. I feel passionate about sharing this with young people, showing them a real-life success story helps them understand what they’re capable of.”
A life-changing experience
Since competing in 2016, Vanessa has gone from strength to strength in her career. After completing an HNC and HND, she decided to build on her experiences as a Skills Champion and study an education qualification to help share the skills she developed through competing.
She is currently setting up her own Academy for post-16 learners studying Beauty skills.
“Being a Skills Champion made me realise how much I enjoyed helping young people grow and develop,” she says. “I decided I wanted to give learners the best possible experience. That’s why I’m setting up my own Beauty Academy that will harness the technical and mindset training I received through WorldSkills UK – the Academy will make sure learners can really get hands-on with the skills they need to succeed.”
Never stop learning
Three years on from her first competition experience, Vanessa has decided to take the plunge once again and enter the 2019 WorldSkills UK Competition cycle. She’s competing in Creative Media Make-up to hone her skills even further – and she’s hoping to win gold!