Peter’s family home is in Oxfordshire but currently he’s a residential student at Derwen College, Gobowen, in Shropshire which is a specialist college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). He chose Derwen saying, “It will help me to get a job and I know some people who live in the area.”
Peter first heard of WorldSkills UK Competitions when his college asked him if he would like to enter and he was pleased to accept and keen to show off his skills.
His first competition was the Catering: Foundation Skills National Qualifiers in September 2021 and just two months later he took part in the National Finals in November. These competitions were held remotely at Derwen College and Peter achieved a coveted highly commended status.
Asked what his favourite thing was about taking part Peter says:
It was being able to practise my skills and show what I can do.
The competitions are just like real-life working and cooking and customer service can be very pressurised as Peter found, “The biggest challenge was getting everything done in the time limit, but I just had to do my best to try and work as quickly as I could.”
Competing is not just about showing off your skills but learning comes into it too. Peter agrees,
Being in the WorldSkills UK Competition has allowed me to try new foods, decide what other foods they would go with and learn how to prepare them.
For someone thinking about entering a competition Peter says, “Just have a go.”
Still at college he’s concentrating on continuing his learning but has clear ideas about what the future could hold for him: “I think I would be good at working in lots of hospitality jobs or outlets, but especially in housekeeping or cooking.”
The pandemic has impacted everyone and made us think and do things differently and Peter was no exception:
“Covid-19 made lots of changes at college, but some of these helped my career. Because we couldn’t have the restaurant and café open as usual, we set up a takeaway service for staff and it helped me to learn how to work in a takeaway. Now things seem to be getting back to normal at college so I don’t think I am worried.”