Bronze medal success for Netherlee student

Leona Westwater at the WorldSkills event.
Leona Westwater at the WorldSkills event.

A culinary student from Netherlee is celebrating success at the UK’s largest skills competition.

Leona Westwater, 24, a student at City of Glasgow College, who studied at Williamwood High School in Clarkston, brought home bronze in confectionary from this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE.

The HND student was part of a 30-strong team who competed in the elite skills competition helping Scotland’s Super College retain its number one ranking.

Leona said: “Winning a bronze medal at WorldSkills UK LIVE was an unreal experience and to have City of Glasgow College gain a clean sweep of medals in the Confectionery and Patisserie Category was unheard of.

“I originally decided to do WorldSkills because I thought it was a good way to develop my skills. The main challenges I faced during the regional and national heats was dealing with mishaps that hadn’t happened during training, you had to keep a level head and deal with these situations quickly.

“I enjoyed training the most, especially since I was training with two other competitors, I was able to see so many different techniques and everyone’s own personal style.”

Leona continued: “I can honestly say that I left WorldSkills UK LIVE with my head held high knowing that I did everything I could and feeling genuinely proud, the whole experience has been incredible.”

Leona, who is in her second year of professional cookery at City of Glasgow College, took part in an intensive training programme, putting in many hours of hard work in preparation for this prestigious competition.

Paul Little, Principal and chief executive of City of Glasgow College, and Lead Ambassador for WorldSkills in Scotland said: “This is our best medal tally yet a truly remarkable achievement. I am delighted that the incredible hard work of our students and lecturers has paid off.

“To be at the top of the WorldSkills league table yet again shows just how well we are doing in preparing our students to be the best in their chosen career.

“WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills and careers event helping shape the future of a new generation. As an advocate for tertiary excellence, I firmly believe these competitions help to improve skills levels and deliver economic growth.”

The students competed in core disciplines which this year included digital video production, fine jewellery making, media makeup: body, fashion and photographic makeup, and customer care.

Medals were awarded in 70 different skills in total. Over 500 top apprentices and learners from 115 colleges and training providers across the UK competed at the elite skills competition which took place from 15 to 17 November at Birmingham’s NEC.