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Katie and Demi enjoy ‘amazing’ Skills Competition Wales experience

The Travel and Tourism students were the first from the course to represent Coleg Llandrillo

Katie Crowther and Demi Leigh Farrar recently became the first Travel and Tourism students to represent Coleg Llandrillo in Skills Competition Wales.

The Level 2 learners travelled to the biggest shopping mall in Wales, the St David’s Centre in Cardiff, to compete in the Customer Service category.

Along with 10 other competitors from across Wales, Katie and Demi were tested in various scenarios, and were judged by a panel of industry professionals.

They had to deal with customers, respond to emails and take part in a role-play replicating real-life situations. They are now waiting to find out whether they will make it to the next stage, with the first-and second-placed competitors expected to qualify when the results are announced in March.

The chance to represent Coleg Llandrillo in the competition was open to all Level 2 Travel & Tourism students. Learners took part in a selection process in which they had to demonstrate their customer service skills, with Katie and Demi chosen as the successful applicants.

They then underwent training including working in the travel office at the Rhos-on-Sea campus, and dealing with customer service queries in the Orme View restaurant.

Both students enjoyed the competition, which has developed their skills and boosted their CVs as they aim towards careers in the industry.

Demi said: “It was such a good experience. It was very eye-opening to the sorts of things we’ll have to deal with when we’re in the workplace.

“We’ve got that experience now of working in a travel agency and dealing with customers. In the travel and tourism industry you need to be able to chat to people. It was also a really good experience even just for life, because you’re going to deal with people your whole life.”

Katie said coming to college had boosted her confidence and given her opportunities she hadn’t expected.

“College has been massive for me, and I’d recommend it to anyone,” she said. “It was lovely to get out there and put myself forward for the competition. I don’t think I would ever have done that in the past. It was a huge experience.

“It was wonderful watching how professional the competition staff were with all of us. They were very confident and they gave off a nice energy which made everything easier, which definitely helped show how we’re supposed to act with other people in customer service roles. It would be lovely to get through, but the experience was enough for me. It was amazing.”

Demi said the travel and tourism course had opened doors for her since she started in September.

She said: “I’m working part-time in a travel agency, and if I wasn’t doing this course I don’t think I’d have got that job.

“At the age of 16, to have a part-time job doing what I want to do in the future, is really good. The fact that I’m doing Travel & Tourism and I’ve worked in the travel office here, it means you’ve already got a lot of experience and knowledge.”

Travel & Tourism lecturer Sonia McClave said: “The competition was the first for Travel & Tourism learners to participate in, so it was an exciting opportunity for us.

“Following dedicated competition preparations with tutors, Katie and Demi were able to showcase their skills along with 10 other competitors. They were placed in a variety of settings and faced various challenges in a real working environment in front of industry professionals.

“I was delighted to receive exceptional feedback from the judges with regards to both competitors, including their personal presentation standards and skills demonstrated throughout the tasks.”

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