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Kaiya Strikes Gold in the Desert with Team UK

The UK ‘struck gold’ in the desert at the WorldSkills Finals (known as the ‘Skills Olympics’) in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Among the medallists was former VTCT learner and VTCT sponsored WorldSkills UK beauty therapist contestant, Kaiya Swain, from Stone Cross, East Sussex. Last night she was voted the World’s best young beauty therapist.

Kaiya who works at Kaiya Rose Beauty, from Pevensey said: “It was an absolute honour to represent my country. This is a dream come true, I never expected to come out on top.”

Kaiya explains how incredible her win is and how she wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of her family:

Team UK has triumphed picking up no less than 20 medals, 1 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze and 13 medallions of excellence at a spectacular closing ceremony in front of 15,000 people and the World’s media at the ad Du Arena.

Team UK finished 10th in the medals table ahead of Germany and was the smallest team to make the global top 10.

Bridie Thorne

Medallions of Excellence, were awarded to those that achieve the world class standard in their skill, one of which was presented VTCT learner and hairdresser Bridie Thorne.

Dr. Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK said: “These young people have done the nation proud. If we celebrate Team UK’s success and use it to inspire others to follow in their footsteps – the future of the UK is in safe hands.”

Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, who visited the competition to support WorldSkills UK and the team, called upon parents to take note of the results saying: ”I have been blown away by Team UK. They have done fantastically well – this is the UK competing on the World stage for skills and achieving great things.

“There will be huge celebrations when they come home. To get to this level is brilliant. There is a message here for parents – university is not the only option – the opportunities are boundless if they overcome any bias that they might have. We must ensure that the young apprentices here become an inspiration to others.”

Having triumphed through regional heats, a national final, a Team UK selection process and months of intensive training, 34 young apprentices (or former apprentices) – completed 4 days of competition at the 44th WorldSkills Finals on Sunday (October 15th).

As a longstanding sponsor of the UK beauty therapy competitions, VTCT recognises that WorldSkills is an exciting opportunity for learners in further education and apprenticeship programmes to showcase their talents, while also highlighting the vital importance of skills to economic growth in the UK.

Find out more about new gold medalist Kaiya, her WorldSkills journey and her hopes for the future here.

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