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South Eastern Regional College Students Recognised for Excellence at WorldSkills

South Eastern Regional College student Katie Graham (from Dromara) NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery, Patisserie and Confectionery, who was recognised with a Bronze award at the WorldSkills Competition held in Birmingham

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) students recently competed at the WorldSkills UK event, at the NEC Birmingham, with two students being recognised with awards.

SERC had seven students at the event. Level 3 Electrical Apprentice Scott Barr (Ballygowan) was a Construction and Infrastructure finalist for his Electrical Installation skills and five students were finalists in the Health, Hospitality and Lifestyle category; Brendan Addis (Newtownards), Courtney Johnston (Newtownards), and Katie Graham (Dromara) for Confectionary, and Danny Bunphaung (Newtownards) and Phadon Wichianrak (Comber) finalists for Culinary Arts. Owen Dickson, a Level 3 Apprentice in Fire and Security Systems also attended to showcase his skills in this area.

After a brilliant showing from all students, Katie Graham, from the NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery, Patisserie and Confectionery, was awarded Bronze for her Confectionary skills, while Danny Bunphaung, from the Level 2 Catering Skills for Work programme, was Highly Commended for the skills he displayed in Culinary Arts.

Danny never thought attending competitions was going to be part of his learning experience. Speaking about taking part he said, “Whenever I joined SERC, I never expected to be attending events such as WorldSkills. It was very enjoyable though slightly stressful as it is a high-pressure environment. There are a lot of people watching you, but that only helps to develop you and make you a better chef. It definitely feels good to come away from the event being recognised for my ability.”

Danny’s tutor Tom McCluney said,

“Seeing students develop into good chefs and to see them recognised for their skills and experience at events such as WorldSkills is brilliant, that’s what I’m here for, it makes my day.

He added, “These competitions can be great for students, not only for the skills they develop and the experience they gain, but also the opportunity to showcase themselves in front of some high-profile chefs or restaurant owners.   At the end of the day, our students are preparing for work so competitions like WorldSkills gives them the edge when it comes to applying for jobs or for places on higher level courses. We’ve definitely got the bug for WorldSkills and we will continue to enter the competitions to showcase the abilities of our excellent students here at SERC.”

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