College News

Isabelle Makes the Grade for International Competition

Health and Social Care learner Isabelle H-F standing smiling in the College's ward Boston College Health and Social Care learner Isabelle Hughes-Fletcher is hoping to go for gold in France next year after she was selected to progress onto the next stage of training working towards a place in the UK squad for the ‘skills olympics’ in Lyon by WorldSkills UK.

In total 94 learners from across the UK will begin an 18-month intensive training programme to try and prove they have what it takes to compete against the very best of the rest of the world in September 2024.

Having excelled in regional and national competitions, squad members will undertake specialist training programmes with WorldSkills UK to help prepare them for competition by developing both their technical and mindset skills.

Isabelle was awarded bronze in the Health and Social Care category at the World Skills UK Final in November 2022. During the two-day final, Isabelle’s practical skills and knowledge were put to the test as she responded to six scenarios, staged by actors, in which she provided professional care as if it was real-life. Isabelle has gained a wealth of experience whilst studying the Health and Social Care Level 3 Diploma at the College, learning from industry experienced lecturers and work placements that are a significant part of the course.

The finals in Lyon is a biennial competition run by WorldSkills International that tests young people’s skills in a host of technical disciplines. Featuring competitors and expert coaches from over 80 countries, UK competitors will have to be on top of their game in the pursuit of excellence and gold medals.

Speaking of her WorldSkills journey Isabelle said, “I wanted to pursue the international stage of the WorldSkills competition in order to keep pushing myself to be the best that I can be. I am thankful for the encouragement and support I have received from my Mum and my lecturers at Boston College. I am feeling slightly nervous but I am very excited to see where it could lead.”

Ruth Catlett, Boston College Health and Social Care Lecturer said, “Boston College is incredibly proud that Isabelle has been selected as one of four to progress onto the international training programme, working towards the final three that will be selected for the UK squad. Isabelle has shown immense commitment and dedication to the WorldSkills competition so far, working extremely hard alongside her full-time course and work placement in the industry. We wish her success at the start of this next stage of her journey.”

WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said: “Squad members have done so well to get to this stage and are fantastic examples of the very best of our further education system, but the hard work really starts now as they have an international competition to prepare for.

“These international competitions are such important opportunities to raise the profile and prestige of UK skills. Competitors have the opportunity to show off their skills on the international stage and we can transfer the insights and best practice gleaned from other countries to drive up standards at home. Through our Centre of Excellence we are now cascading that international knowhow through to thousands more young people across the UK.”

The squad will be guided through their training by a team of highly skilled trainers, industry experts, former medal winners and performance coaches to help them prepare for the pressure of competing at such a high level. The final team to represent the UK on the international stage will be announced in the spring of 2024.

After securing a top 10 finish at last year’s event, the squad is looking to further improve the UK’s standing on the global stage in Lyon. As well as improving on a 12th place finish in 2019, Team UK also secured a best ever fourth-place finish in digital skills finishing above the likes of Germany and China.

If Isabelle’s success has inspired you to explore a career in Health and Social Care, visit the Health and Social Care page find out more about courses at Boston College.

You can download our course guide