A beauty student at Hull College is preparing to go for gold in the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition.
Daniela Mikute, 20, has been selected to compete in the Nail Technician category of the WorldSkills UK National Finals in November later this year.
Designed by industry experts, WorldSkills UK competitions aim to help develop participants’ technical and employability skills, including building resilience, self-confidence and communications skills. OFSTED has also recognised the value of these programmes in their education inspection framework.
Students and apprentices, who are studying a wide range of technical and vocational qualifications, will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. The finalists from this year’s National Finals could also be invited to join the WorldSkills UK International Development Programme for the WorldSkills Competition in 2026.
In preparation, Daniela, who achieved a Distinction in her Level 3 Advanced Nail Enhancements qualification last year and is set to start a Foundation Degree in Advanced Beauty Therapy and Aesthetics at the college later this month, will work with tutors Kerry Wray and Emma Wray to practise a range of skills and techniques ahead of the finals.
Daniela said: “It’s really exciting to have got this far in the competition. I was so nervous at the regional finals stage, but I left so happy with how the day panned out and I was delighted to have made the national finals. It was a lovely surprise when I received the email to say that I’d qualified – I messaged Kerry straight away to let her know!
“My tutors – Kerry and Emma – have been a huge support network throughout my Level 3 Nails course and the competition process to date. The whole experience has been so beneficial from day one. It’s given me a lot more self-belief and confidence, and made focusing on my next steps after education far less stressful. It’s also made me realise that it is important to always push on with whatever it is that you want to do and not give up.
“I loved my course last year and was excited to come into college every single day. To come away with a Distinction for my efforts, as well as place in the national finals of WorldSkills UK, was a dream come true. I know I’ve got a lot of practising ahead of me in order to
prepare for the competition, but I’m really excited for what lies ahead – both in terms of WorldSkills and my degree. I can’t wait!
“I just want to go further and further with my education and ensure I have as much knowledge and skills in the world of beauty as I possibly can. Even though I’m 20 years of age, I still want to continue learning to give myself the best possible chance of enjoying a successful career and achieving my goals in the beauty industry.”
Kerry Wray, Assistant Head of The Institute of Hospitality and Lifestyle, said: “It’s great to see Daniela secure a place in the WorldSkills UK National Finals and we’re so proud of her! Only the eight highest-scoring competitors qualify for nationals. Therefore, Daniela has done incredibly well to get this far. The training for nationals will begin straight away now the new academic year is underway. It will be a lot of hard work, but I already know that Daniela will be up to the challenge.
“We always encourage our students to enter competitions such as WorldSkills UK here at Hull College because it’s a fantastic way to boost and develop their skills and confidence, and also to get a further glimpse of what’s happening in the industry that they want to work in once they’ve finished studies. It’s also a great addition to their CVs as well and can really help students to kick-start their careers as it ensures they are learning and developing the technical skills that employers are looking for.”
Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “I offer my congratulations to all of the National Finalists. We know our competition-based training programmes deliver real value and benefits to the young person taking part, but the programmes also provide opportunities for the development of their educators and trainers in delivering training that meets the latest industry standards.
“As well as giving them the chance to shine, we will be sharing their career journeys and success stories so we can inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to see that an apprenticeship or technical education is a first-class route to success in work and life.”
The WorldSkills UK National Finals are being hosted at colleges, independent training providers and universities across Greater Manchester between Tuesday 14th– Friday 17th November. The Nail Technician competition will take place at Trafford College on Thursday 16th November. The celebration of world-class skills will culminate in the announcement of the winners at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday 17th November at The Bridgewater Hall.