Kirsty from Southern Regional College reflects on how being part of the Squad UK Beauty Therapy team and going through our world-class training programme has benefited her career and given her the confidence to open her own business.
Kirsty Frazer is not one to just follow the crowd but has sought her own pathway to success. “I went to a school where there was a lot of pressure to do A-Levels and go down the university route, I knew I didn’t want to do that. I was on the only one of my friends who decided to leave school at 16. I began my course in beauty therapy at Southern Regional College, which I’d always had a keen interest in.”
Busy with her college course, Kirsty didn’t think she had time for much more, but then her tutor told her about WorldSkills UK Competitions. “She always helped me to train for the competitions and supported me to get to where I am now. I first competed in 2018, reaching the National Finals held as part of WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC Birmingham where I was thrilled to win a Silver Medal. The National Finals has such a great atmosphere about it and getting to meet lots of other people from across the UK was terrific too.”
Kirsty is frank about the need for commitment and developing her planning skills, both of which are qualities employers are crying out for. “I’ve found it difficult balancing between work and training for WorldSkills UK, it’s very hard finding that right balance but once you do, and work out a schedule that works well for you, then it’s fine.”
Aside from growing her technical skills Kirsty has also developed a strong positive mental attitude saying, “My advice to other young professionals is to always put 100% effort into everything and it will pay off. Just take every opportunity presented to you and you will go far.
“Taking part in WorldSkills UK Competitions has definitely benefited my career. It’s made me into a very hard-working and driven person and has greatly improved my confidence in my work as a beauty therapist. It’s given me the confidence to open my own salon.”
She adds, “I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is passionate about their skill and wants to improve it and be the best that they can possibly be. WorldSkills UK will further and improve your skill more than you could ever imagine.”
Kirsty’s learning and competing journey is ongoing. She’s been selected as a member of Squad UK and is undergoing the skills set and mindset training that WorldSkills UK is renowned for, to be in the running for the chance to join Team UK in competing on the international stage. “I was delighted to be chosen for Squad UK. I had been working towards being selected for over two years, so to finally achieve it was amazing. It’s given me the opportunity to learn so many new things and to continue improving my skills – that’s the best bit!”
Kirsty is not stopping there, she is already running her own salon, “I want to continue to improve as a beauty therapist educating myself as much as I possibly can. I want to grow my client base in my salon and then I would love to teach beauty therapy at some stage in the future.”
With commitment and working to high standards Kirsty’s future looks bright and being able to bring international standards and practices into her work and especially if she achieves her ambition of teaching, means the next generation of student beauty therapists and their clients will benefit too.
Kirsty’s advice to governments, educators and parents is to be more open-minded, “To definitely promote and talk more to young people about the options available and to make them aware that A-Levels and university is not the only route to take. You can still be very successful if you choose to do an apprenticeship or go into technical education.”