A talented web designer and a chef-de-rang from Carmarthenshire are preparing to represent Coleg Sir Gâr and the UK at the WorldSkills international competition in Abu Dhabi this month.
Former Coedcae student Elizabeth Forkuoh rose through the competition ranks at Coleg Sir Gâr where she studied hospitality, supervision and leadership. Making such significant headway in UKSkills competitions, she received employment offers from some of the top restaurants in the UK. She will be competing in the restaurant services category of the competition where she will also be representing her employer, Gleneagles in Scotland, one of the best restaurants in the UK for customer care and food service.
Elizabeth has also undergone professional training at The Ritz, successfully completed a wine appreciation course in London and attended a training event in Taiwan. She also won a British Education award when she was at college and working part-time at the Stradey Park Hotel.
Alfie Hopkin is excited to be travelling to the United Arab Emirates. “I feel ecstatic,” he said. “It’s insane how fast this has all come around, I’m really excited to go and I think that the training I have undergone over recent months has definitely benefited me in terms of making me more employable. Hopefully I will be able to show I can compete with the best in the world.”
Elizabeth Forkuoh said: “It's still hard for me to believe that I will be representing the UK in restaurant service in WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in just two weeks. I am so proud of myself, I never thought I would make it this far and this has shown me that hard work really does pay off. I am feeling more determined than ever and I am going for gold!”
Tracy Senchal, headteacher at Coedcae Comprehensive School, said: “We are extremely proud of Elizabeth. There is no doubt that she is a very talented young lady, with a bright future ahead. Coedcae School sends Elizabeth our very best wishes for Abu Dhabi. It certainly is a wonderful opportunity for her to showcase her outstanding skills. Good luck Elizabeth.”
Coleg Sir Gâr principal Barry Liles is a passionate supporter of skills competitions and as Skills Champion for Wales is thrilled for the college and the Welsh competitors. “WorldSkills on an international level is held every two years,” he said. “It’s been an intense but ultimately beneficial journey for our competitors training for Team UK, which has resulted in a prestigious job opportunity for Elizabeth so I’m very excited to be able to support my own students and those competing from Wales, at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi.”
The college’s partner schools play a vital role in nurturing students and providing them with a pre-college foundation. Lorraine Brown, a previous form tutor of Alfie Hopkin at Glan y Mor school, said: “Alfie is a delightful young man who deserves the recognition for his hard work, perseverance and achievement so far. I wish him all the luck in the world for this latest competition.”
Alfie Hopkin and Elizabeth Forkuoh will be competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi representing the UK and Coleg Sir Gâr in web design and restaurant services
Notes to editor
• This year, 36 competitors from the UK are competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, four of which are from Wales, two of which represent Coleg Sir Gâr
• WorldSkills Abu Dhabi takes place 15 – 18 October
• Meet Team UK 2017, Abu Dhabi
• To give a flavour of the event - WorldSkills Sao Paula, 2015 (opening ceremony)