WorldSkills Ireland 2023 welcomed a record number of students this year, including many who are seeking a career in the hospitality and tourism sector.
Last month, the event hosted 24,000 students from schools across the country, in the RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin.
‘Wealth of Skills’
The three-day event showcased opportunities available for students looking to pursue a career in a skills-based job across almost all sectors, including hospitality and tourism, construction, creative arts, information and communication technology, automobiles, manufacturing and engineering.
“We welcomed a record number of students through our doors this year, and we hope that, by showcasing the wealth of skills and apprenticeships that are available currently, that those young people will be inspired and empowered to take the first step in their careers,” said Ray English, chair of Worldskills Ireland 2023.
A key aspect of Worldskills Ireland 2023 were the skills competitions, where 160 students and apprentices went head to head to compete for the prestigious DFHERIS silver medal, alongside the chance to represent Ireland at Worldskills Lyon in 2024.
Hospitality and tourism was one category in the skills competition that was sponsored by Fáilte Ireland.
“I was truly amazed by the talent on display during this year’s hospitality-and-tourism competitions,” said Ricky O’Brien, head of foodservice at BWG Foods.
“Going up against some of Ireland’s best students and apprentices and walking away as a winner is certainly no mean feat.”
The winners of the competitions included in the hospitality-and-tourism category were:
Cookery, sponsored by BWG Foods, IFSA, Chef Network and Corcoran Food Equipment: Alanna Moffitt, from Blacklion, Co. Cavan;
Craft Butchery, sponsored by MSLETB and Craft Butchers: James Etherson, from Dublin; and
Restaurant Service, sponsored by Ashford Castle: Kate Ryan, from Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
“Skills and apprenticeships are the lifeblood of the hospitality and tourism industries, and Ireland is known for being a world leader in this sector,” said O’Brien.
“However, if this is to continue, and if our industry is to grow and develop, we need more skilled individuals with the knowledge necessary to ensure it progresses.
“We’re delighted to see so many young people with an interest in a career in hospitality and tourism. It’s an exciting, fast-paced and dynamic industry, with so much to offer.”