Julianne Lavery, Senior Lecturer from the Westminster School of Arts, has been announced as part of the Team UK line up for the 2021 EuroSkills Competition in Graz, Austria. 

Portrait image of Senior Lecturer Julianne Lavery

The competition, organised by WorldSkills Europe, is a biennial event. EuroSkills is more than a competition as it promotes those who take part, showcasing their talent and introducing young people all over Europe to a variety of career paths. It is the continent’s biggest vocational education and skills excellence event and is seen as a significant pointer as to how the UK’s skills systems measure up against key economic competitors across Europe.   

Participants are selected through national skills competitions to take part in EuroSkills to try and become the best in Europe in their area of expertise. During the competition, members, international industry partners, governmental agencies, and educational institutions come together to inspire a world-class standard of skills and abilities.

Lavery is the trainer and the judge for the Visual Merchandising skills competition. She has been the visual merchandising training manager and UK expert for eight years and has also been appointed the chief expert at the WorldSkills Shanghai competition in 2021.

As a WorldSkills UK visual merchandising training manager, she has the privilege of aligning both her educational and practical experiences in the retail industry to underpin a training programme that helps learners progress and advance their skills as well as taking them on a life journey that equips them with the mindset to problem solve, achieve and succeed.

Fourteen of the best young apprentices and professionals in the UK have been selected to compete in the skills competitions next year. They have been selected, trained and mentored by the education and skills charity WorldSkills UK. There will be more than 500 competitors from 27 countries in 45 different skills disciplines.

Talking about the competition, Lavery said: “I am thrilled to have the role of UK Visual Merchandising (VM) expert for Euro Skills Graz 2021 (taking VM squad member Greta Volungeviciute to compete in an international arena with the hope of taking home a medal for the UK). In competitions, an expert role has the duty of judging the creative display installations produced from all country competitor members in VM - a position which means understanding the skills standards on a global level, which in turn can inform best practice in your own learning and development.

“This competition will also provide the opportunity to showcase the talent the UK has in the creative sector. I am an advocate of promoting and advancing UK skills in the creative sector, communicating how education and industry can align to achieve excellence.”

Professor Alexandra Hughes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement and Employability, said: “At the University of Westminster we are proud to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive organisation. Our global engagement activity is a key part of that. Our overseas students, colleagues, partners and collaborations are vital to who we are and what we do. We are delighted that this is reflected in Julianne’s involvement in the 2021 EuroSkills competition.”

The competition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now take place from the 6-10 January 2021. 

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