March 2019 saw the debut of Ireland Skills Live, a three-day event held at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin. The event provided a unique opportunity for students from across the country to showcase their exceptional skills in their specialist sectors.
The key aim of the event was to promote skills and on-the-job learning, and consequently help to address the skills shortage identified in Ireland. There is high demand across multiple sectors including construction, ICT, financial services and hospitality. Concurrently, the Irish beauty industry is continuing to grow year-on-year, and the need for highly qualified and versatile beauty therapists is paramount.
iTEC & VTCT were proud sponsors of the Beauty Therapy Competition at the event held from 21st – 23rd March. The competitors were judged in various rounds which included advanced facial and nail polish, evening makeup and nail polish, hair removal, spa body treatment with pedicure, and fantasy makeup and nail art. For every round, it was crucial that the competitors used their time wisely to ensure that they could successfully fulfil each element.
Competitors were assessed on their complete end-to-end salon experience; not only did they need to conduct the treatments within the allocated time, they also had to consider getting their work station ready for treatment beforehand, and then wiped down and cleaned afterwards.
Claiming first place in the Beauty Therapy final was 17-year-old Allanagh O Sullivan, an iTEC learner from the Kerry ETB Training Centre. Allanagh will be going on to represent Ireland in Russia’s World Skills competition in August.
The competitions offer a prime opportunity for learners to put their training into practice. Maria Hayes, Ireland Skills examiner, says, “All the girls trained very hard for the competitions this week. They showed such skill and determination during their timed tasks. Some of the competitors have their exam coming up so all the preparation for this was beneficial to their competition training.”
iTEC beauty learner, Monica King, explained: “The training and competitions helped me problem solve and develop my skills working under pressure.” Fellow learner, Davia Gebka, also praised the event: “I’m grateful to have been able to take part and have this experience. It’s like nothing I’ve done before.”
Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive at iTEC & VTCT, says, “Seeing these young people thrive in a high pressurised environment is something to be commended. We’re immensely proud of how far they’ve all come in the competition and wish them all a prosperous career moving forward.”