Student Briony heads for national contest

Briony Willoughby
Briony Willoughby

A Wisbech student is heading to the national final of the WorldSkills competition at Birmingham NEC.

Briony Willoughby, a nail technology student from the College of West Anglia, won first place in the regional competition by creating a range of original nail art using gel and acrylics with “innovative use” of nail enhancements.

Briony is heading to Birmingham on Friday with four other students from the college.

The team of four media students is made up of Sean Rees (27), from Fakenham; Jonathon Russell (20), from King’s Lynn; Harry Daniels (16), from Shouldham; and Joshua Hawkes (17), also from King’s Lynn.

“This was the first time the media department has entered a team in the WorldSkills competition and college staff and fellow students are so proud of what has been achieved,” said a college spokesman.

The five students could secure a place in the WorldSkills international final, which is to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015.

WorldSkills is an international organisation with 67 member countries who have all committed to promote excellence in vocational training via international competition in the form of a bi-annual ‘Skills Olympics’. The event at the NEC Birmingham runs for three days and is the largest vocational skills event in the UK.

The college has also been leading the way in attracting funding to support links with European colleges and as a result has been invited to host a public presentation of student work in media makeup on the Hair & Beauty Showcase stage at the NEC.

Twelve students will take part in this two-hour showcase which will be filmed by media students from the college’s own internet TV station.

Chris Challender, the College of West Anglia’s external projects manager, believes that competitive success will raise the college’s profile and show how a positive student experience can lead to sustainable employment.