union jack icon
Team UK
Icon of Restaurant Service
Restaurant Service
Illustration of Gold Medal
Medallion of Excellence at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi

Elizabeth left Italy in her teens with her family to emigrate to Wales saying, “I started learning English while I was still in Italy and my reading and writing were OK, but speaking English was much more difficult, and took some time.” Now a highly articulate English speaker with a lilting Welsh accent Elizabeth has certainly overcome the language challenge.

Italy is well known for its varied cuisine and many kinds of restaurants as well as legendary home-cooking. “I was so inspired by my mum’s cooking at home as well as my godparents, it was so much a part of my life I decided to take it further.”

Elizabeth was inspired to take hospitality, maths and Italian A-Levels but found it wasn’t possible to do this combination at a single college.

Once in Wales Elizabeth made her choices, “I decided on a course in hospitality and Italian and to postpone maths until a couple of years later.” In the event she lost her heart to hospitality and didn’t take maths at all. Not all learning took place in the classroom, “It was great mixing with different crowds of people and coming into contact with varied influences, I learned a lot.”

Elizabeth first heard about WorldSkills UK Competitions from her tutor at Coleg Sir Gar. Supported by Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales Elizbeth was entered into the National Competitions for Restaurant Service in 2015. 

Elizabeth won a coveted gold medal, seeing off competition from all over the UK and was selected to represent the UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. She says: “At first I found working under pressure surrounded by judges nerve-wracking, but I learned though the WorldSkills UK training to focus and control myself.” She adds, “Taking part in pressure tests in Italy and Taiwan brought me experience and a different kind of energy.”

Competing in WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017 against competitors from over 60 countries, Elizabeth came back with a Medallion of Excellence recognising that her skill in hospitality met world-class standards.

For young people thinking of entering WorldSkills Competitions in any skill she has this advice:

“I 100% recommend it for helping you to develop both professionally and personally, it’s an incredible experience and really changes you as a person.”

Asked how competing has influenced her career progression, Elizabeth sums it up with one word: “upward”, adding, “WorldSkills UK Competitions were the beginning. I moved to Scotland before WorldSkills Abu Dhabi to develop my technical skills, which also gave me a new energy to compete. I worked at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel, which is where I did my skills training and I have recently moved to London where I am Assistant General Manager at Claridge’s.”

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