World Skills UK has named seven young hospitality professionals in its squad for the World Skills 2015 competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil - the largest international skills competition in the world.
Representing the UK in cooking will be: Ruth Hansom, who works at the Ritz in London; and Danny Hoang who works for the Grove hotel.
In restaurant service, the three UK team members are: Daniel Harrison, who works at Gleneagles; Lucy Jones from Chewton Glen hotel and spa; and Olivia Whitbread from the Bell hotel.
In the ‘confectioner/pastry cook' category will be Sophie Bamford who works for William Curley; and Mikaela Wright from the City of Glasgow College.
Four of the seven team members - Hoang, Hansom, Whitbread and Bamford - have studied at Westminster Kingsway College and they will also be supported by chef lecturer Yolande Stanley who is the pastry training manager for World Skills UK Squad.
"When I was standing waiting to hear the judges' decision I was really nervous - I had a flashback of all my mistakes through the week so I wasn't sure I'd get through. The best bit of the squad selection process was being able to gauge my own performance and see them improve throughout the week. It's been good to be around people who are just as passionate in their own skill and are same-minded as well. That's probably one of the strongest supports you can have in a competition like this."
Held every two years, World Skills sees around 1,000 young people, aged 18-25, from all over the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different skills including electrical installation, welding, web design, cooking and bricklaying. WorldSkills SÁ£o Paulo 2015 takes place from 11-16 August, 2015.
Minister for Skills and Enterprise Matthew Hancock MP said: "The WorldSkills Competition is an opportunity for the UK to showcase and celebrate our young apprentices on the global stage. It goes to show, that for every skill and every vocational area, we can and should celebrate excellence. The young people who have earned a place on Squad UK are ambassadors for our country and demonstrate how high quality apprenticeships can lead to successful careers. I congratulate each and every member of Squad UK."
The 98 members of Squad UK were selected following three days of intense competition. The selection competitions were held at four venues throughout the UK: EMTEC, part of Central College Nottingham and Belfast Metropolitan, Northern Regional College and CAFRE in Northern Ireland. The competitors were invited to compete in the selection competitions after excelling at the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, the finals of which take place at The Skills Show. Squad UK will now spend the next 11 months training in their skill supported by their training provider, college, employer and a dedicated training manager. In May next year the members of Squad UK will compete for a coveted placed in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills SÁ£o Paulo 2015.
The training programme for Squad UK includes EuroSkills Lille 2014, Europe's largest skills competition which takes place from 1 - 5 October 2014, and The Skill Show which takes place from 13-15 November, 2014.