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Squad UK
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Gold medal winner at 2019 National Finals
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Pembrokeshire College

Zara from Pembrokeshire College was selected for Squad UK after winning a coveted Gold Medal in Beauty Therapy at last year’s National Final. She explains how taking part in our international training programme has developed her skills as a beauty therapist and given her the confidence needed to succeed.

Zara Morgan knew from her experience in secondary school that she needed to find a way of learning that suited her, if she was going to succeed. “I never enjoyed school education and wasn’t able to find a subject I felt happy to study for a minimum of three years. Pembrokeshire College offered a suitable course that was as much practical as theory which allowed me to flourish and fully qualify as a beauty therapist.”

Her college tutors introduced her to WorldSkills UK Competitions and Zara has, “Loved it ever since.” She first competed in June 2018 in the National Qualifier at Weston Super Mare which took her through to the National Finals for the Level 2 competition. The following year she entered the Level 3 competition National Final and her hard work and commitment were rewarded by her winning a coveted Gold Medal at the NEC in Birmingham attracting thousands of spectators keen to see what young professionals not much older than themselves, can achieve.

Zara has enjoyed her competition experience saying, “My favourite part is making new friendships as well as constantly learning new things and growing as a therapist.

Competing is a test of technical and employability skills that businesses and services value such as planning, time management and resilience, says Zara, “My biggest challenge has been overcoming my lack of confidence, I’ve always thought I wasn’t good enough and couldn’t do something like WorldSkills UK Competitions, but competing for over two years has really showed me that I’m capable, it’s helped my confidence.

Asked what advice she has for students, apprentices and young professionals thinking of entering WorldSkills UK Competitions Zara says, “Just go for it! You can achieve anything you want if you just believe in yourself.”

Having been selected to join Squad UK and currently undergoing the skill set and mindset training that is unique to WorldSkills UK, Zara is in the running for selection to Team UK and the chance to compete on the international stage. It’s a challenge she feels ready for, “I was over the moon when I got selected for Squad UK and couldn’t wait to get started with the training.”

“My goal is to open my own business. COVID-19 has had a big impact on the beauty industry but we’ve continued to train through all of this online, so I’ve kept up my skills.”

She thinks that young people starting on their career planning journey could benefit from a broader approach.

“I think people need to be more aware of the different paths they can take, and that university isn’t the only option.”

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