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Bella Bailey: @bellabailley on instagram

Bella Bailey from Mold in Wales studied Beauty Therapy at Levels 2 and 3.and is now working as a spa therapist at Aura Leisure and Libraries.

“I did have a different upbringing in that I was home-schooled. For me this only gave me an advantage in most areas of my life. However, when I wanted to begin my dream career as a beauty therapist I did face certain challenges in being accepted onto college courses etc.

I chose an apprenticeship because for me this was the way I could learn the fastest and most effectively while getting day-to-day experience in an industry I am so passionate about. (and of course getting paid while you learn is always a bonus!). My manager Yen introduced the idea to me of undertaking an apprenticeship as I was volunteering at my current workplace at the time and she definitely inspired me to go for it and really put my all into the qualification!

“When I attended my first ever college open day with my Mum at 15 I spoke to someone who was competing in a WorldSkills UK Competition at the time and they definitely made me think it was something I would love to do one day. When my assessor brought up the idea of competing I was ready to jump straight in!”

Bella first competed regionally in June 2022 and took part in the National Finals in November 2022 where she brought home a gold medal.

Asked what her favourite part about taking part in WorldSkills UK Competitions was Bella says, “It was definitely the competition day and feeling all my hard work pay off! The feeling of knowing you have done your best and really put your all into something is an incredible one”

Bella’s determination really paid off in developing her skills:

The biggest challenge I faced on the run-up to the competition was learning a lot of new skills and techniques in a relatively short period of time. I do not have the best memory so when it came to remembering pointers and advice my tutors gave me I definitely found it difficult sometimes. Although I overcame it by putting my all into every training session and also working on my skills at home and in my workplace as much as possible.

Bella thinks she has developed more than technically in her skill, “I have definitely developed not only my practical skills but also my mental skills of problem-solving and self- regulation. I really do feel that taking part in these competitions has helped me to grow as a person.

“I feel that because of my competition training I am now able to offer my clients treatments at a lot higher standard resulting in more clients requesting me. Also because of the publicity surrounding my win I feel that a lot of clients are more eager to come to me and know that they will get excellent service.”

She has already started long-term career planning, “My career goals for the future are to be self-employed and build up my own loyal client base. Then to open my own salon and provide extremely high-quality treatments and eventually pass on the skills that I have learned to others by opening my own training academy.”

Many people Bella thinks, would benefit from the training and competing opportunities that WorldSkills UK offers. “I would say go for it! Taking part in these competitions is one of the best things I have done so far for my career and has benefited me on so many levels. My advice for the competition would be to give it 100% and really take onboard every piece of advice and opportunity you are given.

“It is opportunities to learn that I think are so valuable. Apprenticeships need to be more widely advertised, I know that initially it was not even something I considered. The traditional ways of education are definitely not for everyone so having the option to learn practically in a workplace about something you are passionate about needs to be shouted about!”

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