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Skilled student Erica is a cut above the rest

A hairdressing student from Strode College is setting out on the road to Shanghai following her selection to Squad UK for the international WorldSkills Competition.

Erica Czerny, 20, from Wells was invited to join the prestigious WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after excelling in its national skills competitions, the finals of which were held last month at WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC in Birmingham.

The WorldSkills Competition, which will next be held in Shanghai, China in 2021, takes place every two years and is known as the ‘Skills Olympics’.  The competition will feature over 1,000 of the world’s most talented apprentices and students competing in over 50 different skills as they battle it out to be named the World Champion in their chosen skill. 

Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, said: “Congratulations to Erica Czerny. This is a life-changing moment for her. Erica has already excelled in the WorldSkills UK regional and national competitions – and now the finalists are facing an even tougher test as they look to secure their place to represent the UK on the world stage.  They have already dedicated hundreds of hours improving their skills to get to this level – and have many months of hard work ahead of them with our training managers – enabling them to transform their careers and lives.”

Erica will undertake an 18-month training programme with WorldSkills UK, supported by Strode College and will face the ultimate selection test in Spring 2021, when the team that will compete at WorldSkills Shanghai will be named.

Paula Bailey, Erica’s tutor and trainer from Strode College, said: Erica has shown astonishing work ethics over the last three years as a full time student and then as an apprentice to realise her dream of making Team GB. It has been a pleasure to work with her to achieve her goal and I look forward to working with her on the road to competing at Shanghai 2021. She is an exemplary role model to our students at Strode College.”

Speaking about her achievements Erica said: “This has been one of the biggest achievements of my life to date. I’m so proud that I work full time at Sense Hair Skin and Body, running a full column of clients and still made time to train every week and kept my passion alive this whole time.”

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