From education to employment

Draperstown local announced on Squad UK roster for ‘skills Olympics’ in France


The achievements for Rónán Kerr in the culinary arts and hospitality industry continue to pour in for the young Draperstown student. He has recently been announced on the team for Squad UK in WorldSkills International, known colloquially as the ‘skills Olympics’.

Rónán competed in the WorldSkills UK regional heats back in 2019 and went on to progress to the national finals in 2022. The finals took place in Belfast and Rónán achieved success with a silver medal on that occasion for his skills in the culinary arts category.

Rónán will be one of 94 squad members representing his specialist skillset and will receive 18 months intensive training across the UK’s best of cooking facilities and mentoring alongside some of the UK’s best innovators among chefs and the hospitality industry.

He said:

“WorldSkills has enhanced my confidence and skills set. I’ve had amazing support from my tutors and friends as well as from my employers Apparo in Draperstown. My confidence in the kitchen has grown a lot and I’m excited to take my journey to the next level. I’ve always wanted to travel and work across England and France so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to do just that.”

The 47th Annual WorldSkills finals will take place in Lyon, France in September 2024.

Rónán has progressed through the Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery and is currently studying the Open University Foundation Degree in the Professional Practice and Management of Culinary Arts at South West College. He is a fine example of the high quality of teaching and learning available at the college.

Darren Pitts, Cookery and Culinary Arts Lecturer at SWC, spoke of his delight for Rónán’s success:

“The sky is the limit for this young man. Rónán is a star when it comes to culinary arts and we are so pleased as a college to see him grow and develop in his career. We always set high standards in the kitchen during our classes, it’s truly amazing to witness a new name to watch out for in the industry. We’re excited to see what the next few years bring for Rónán”.

To learn your trade as the next culinary arts and cookery star like Rónán, find out more about how you can enter the kitchen at SWC by visiting our website and search ‘cookery’.

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