Emily-Rose from New College Durham was a national finalist in the IT Solutions for Business competition in 2019. She explains how taking part in our competitions has made a positive difference to her and why she would like to see a broader approach to education and training.
First studying music, Emily-Rose was inspired by her interest in the crossover between music and technology to pursue a career in IT. She was encouraged to take part in the WorldSkills UK IT Solutions for Business Competitions by her tutor at New College Durham, who put her forward to compete. She worked incredibly hard and in 2019 made it all the way through the regional heats right up to the National Finals where competitors battle it out against the best of their peers from across the UK.
Even though Emily-Rose greatly enjoyed the training and coaching she received and says, “It was fun to make new friends and learn more about their hobbies and skills. I learned a lot about engineering and computer networking too.”
Entering a WorldSkills UK takes commitment but says Emily-Rose, “My biggest challenge wasn’t the training but having to fit competitions around my busy work and college schedule. I managed this by working closely with my tutors and employers who were really supportive so I could schedule my work and training to meet all my commitments.”
It has benefited my studies strongly, example, undertaking data modelling assignments at work using the same programming skills I needed to learn to take part in the Competition. Plus I learned how to manage my time under pressure to a better extent and manage my IT skills in order to complete problem-solving activities to a greater capability.
She is setting her sights high for the future. “I want to go on to study cyber-security so I can join the police or another specialised intelligence agency as an IT forensic analyst.” In the meantime, she is combining her studies with volunteering as an admin assistant at Willow Burn Hospice close to where she lives.
Talking about becoming a WorldSkills UK Skills Champion Emily-Rose says excitedly. “My main objective is to encourage younger people to take part in WorldSkills UK Competition to learn more, grow a higher level of confidence – and make lots of new friends!”
As a WorldSkills UK Champion Emily-Rose will be talking to young people about her career and training and inspiring them to aim high in their aspirations. Her advice to someone thinking about entering a WorldSkills UK Competition, is crystal clear, “Do it!!! It’s going to benefit you so much in terms of character development and employment possibilities!”
Emily-Rose would like teachers and parents to have a broader approach to education and training, “I’d say try not to make education sound too close-minded. For instance, not everyone necessarily wants to do A Levels or even sit in a classroom at all. There’s an apprenticeship or a technical education course out there suited to everyone’s preferences. This wide range of different options needs to be encouraged and held in the same regard and importance as A Levels.”