Emma was studying a Retail Management course at City of Glasgow College when she was asked to take part in the WorldSkills UK Competitions. Her tutor recognised she had potential to compete against the UK’s best apprentices and learners in the Visual Merchandising competition.
She was given tough pre-competition activities to help her hone her skills and prepare for competition. This included creating a mood board for TopShop in the early stages of competition and, as the National Finals approached, brainstorming possible designs based on the final competition brief.
“Training was tough but really rewarding,” Emma says. “I competed alongside three other people from my college – we would stay late after classes had ended to prepare for competition. The effort was definitely worth it and I was ‘Highly Commended’ at the National Finals.”
Inspiring young people into technical careers
Emma’s WorldSkills UK journey didn’t end after competitions. Keen to help other young people get the most out of their technical skills, she signed up as a WorldSkills UK Skills Champion.
“As a Skills Champion, I spread the word about WorldSkills UK Competitions and how young people can benefit,” she explains. “I had a great experience competing and I want to tell as many young people as possible to give it a go.”
Emma visits schools and colleges to share her story and show how far technical education can take young learners. She was also recently part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group looking at the future world of work, sharing her experiences and recommendations with Members of Parliament.
Looking to the future
After completing her course at City of Glasgow College, Emma went on to study a degree in International Fashion Marketing at the Glasgow Caledonian University.
My experience with WorldSkills UK definitely helped me when writing my personal statement for University,” she says. “Since finishing my course, I’ve moved to Manchester to pursue a career in the industry and I’ve already been able to use this experience to help me stand out in interviews.