Collette Gorvett

A desire to be the best

Competitive, committed and the desire to be the best sums up Collette Gorvett’s attitude towards learning – and she has now been named as a finalist in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.

Her three-year progression at Gower College Swansea from Level 1 Diploma in Professional Cookery through to Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery Kitchen & Larder has been exemplary. Her success in six qualifications was recognised with the College’s Hospitality Student of the Year award in 2018.

But it is her involvement in Welsh, UK and ultimately European Skills competitions that have made her an outstanding advocate for vocational learning. Her latest success was part of the four-strong UK team that finished ninth out of 27 competing European nations in the Euro Skills competition held in Budapest, Hungary last year.

Welsh speaking, Collette’s efforts have been recognised as a finalist in the Intermediate Learner of the Year category of this year’s VQ Awards, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

Many of the 19-year-old’s skills were refined in the College’s Vanilla Pod restaurant and at a local Grill House, whilst juggling the demands of study, social and home life.

Last year Collette took a full time role at the Ritz in London, giving her the opportunity to refine and perfect her restaurant service skills that include bar and barista work plus fine dining table service. Collette now gives masterclasses to up and coming competitors and acts as a mentor and ambassador for Inspiring Skills at several Welsh colleges.

She has shared her experiences with Assembly Member Eluned Morgan, spoken on the work of Worldskills to Lords and MPs in the House of Commons and before the year is out she will represent the UK in competitions in Italy, China and Russia.

Collette said: “I was once told my dyslexia would prevent me realising my potential. Through resilience, self-belief, studying hard, practical experience and through making and learning from mistakes, I hope I have proven those people who doubted me wrong.”

Her learning journey has been relentless and her training provider believes that her achievements are inspiring others to succeed.

“Collette has been an incredible role model and ambassador,” said Mark Clement, learning area manager at Gower College Swansea. “She has supported the Inspiring Skills process by performing demonstrations to lecturing staff at numerous Welsh colleges. In addition, she has been an inspiration to all upcoming competitors, encouraging them to dedicate themselves to upskilling and openly sharing her competition experience.”

Now in their 12th year, the VQ Awards celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success. A Vocational Qualification – VQ- award is a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession. The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh learners, trainers and employers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.

There are four award categories – VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year, VQ Higher Learner of the Year, VQ Trainer of the Year and VQ Employer of the Year – which encompass the spectrum of learning, training and employment.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the National Museum Cardiff on May 15. The ceremony coincides with VQ Day, which celebrates vocational achievement and the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning to both the individual and the Welsh economy.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government, the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru/CollegesWales, Qualifications Wales and the Education Workforce Council. The Welsh Government’s funding has support from the European Social Fund.

Picture caption: VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year category finalist, Collette Gorvett.

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