“There were key skills I gained from studying at Trafford College that I believe helped me win”- the 17-year-old pastry chef who credits education for her success

Lucy Potts has already accomplished more in her seventeen years than most of us could even dream of.

After secondary school, the teenager decided to follow her passion for baking and turn it into a career, choosing Trafford College as the place to study for a Professional Pastry Chef qualification.

The college is split across two sites, and Lucy was based on the Altrincham campus which has a dedicated Hospitality and Catering centre, boasting a fully functioning restaurant and bar for students to put learning into practise, allowing them to gain real-world experiences.

During her time on the Level Two and Three courses, she learned many invaluable skills which culminated in recognition on a global stage; she scooping a bronze medal at the Confectionery & Patisserie category at the 2021 World Skills Competition.

Lucy accredits her success in part to the experiences that she gained while completing the qualification, particularly citing the dedication of the course tutors in helping their students flourish.

Lucy and her tutors in the Trafford College kitchens

“There were key skills I gained from studying at Trafford College that I believe helped me win the bronze medal at the World Skills Competition,” she said.

“Firstly, time management. Having perfected this skill during my college experience, it enabled me to set deadlines and push myself to present my best work within the competition’s timescale.

“The tutors are amazing at doing everything in their capability to help you progress and grow as an individual. Also, the work atmosphere was fun and collaborative when we worked in groups. I would say that about the working environment.”

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Alongside her studies and with guidance from the college, Lucy has managed to land an apprenticeship working at the popular food and entertainment venue Freight Island, providing herself to such an extent that she was quickly promoted and trusted with managerial responsibilities.

Lucy with her medal from the World Skills competition
Lucy with her medal from the World Skills competition

“The skills I’ve acquired at Trafford College have contributed to my current work as I have recently been promoted to my workplace and been given manager responsibilities at just seventeen,” she added.

“I would never have won my bronze medal at the World Skills Competition if it wasn’t for my experiences at Trafford College, and I would recommend my Professional Pastry Chef Level courses to a potential student.”

Lucy has now been selected for the World Skills UK training squad with the hope of being selected to represent the UK at the world finals in Lyon in 2023.

Carol Brown, Hospitality Program Leader said: “Lucy has been devoted to her studies and achieving the highest of standards.

“She has dedicated time to additional practice as she was determined to grab this opportunity and all it can do to propel her career and future.”

Looking to the future, Lucy plans to continue working within the pastry team at Freight Island and hopefully progress further in the department.

Eventually, she hopes to find employment as a pastry chef in a successful and reputable London hotel where she will be able to gain the experience and training needed to travel globally doing patisserie work, a vision that, without the support, training and education offered by Trafford College, may have seemed like a dream beyond her reach.

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What can Trafford College offer other prospective students?

The Altrincham campus of Trafford College
The Altrincham campus of Trafford College

Every year, thousands of students choose Trafford College to further their education with a vast array of courses and subjects designed to boost their career prospects, enable transition to higher education or simply satisfy a desire to learn new skills and support their wellbeing in the future.

Now for the first time in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic – on Thursday, March 17 – prospective students can come to look around in person to learn more, and the staff cannot wait to meet and speak to people curious about their next step .

There are two main campuses that form part of the college offering different functions to cater for different needs.

The Stretford campus offers adult education courses in maths, English and ESOL. They also provide a range of courses across STEM subject areas such as Applied Science, Construction and Building Services, Digital and IT, Engineering and many more.

These courses are delivered with industry standard resources and highly trained tutors, accessible to young people, adult learners, Higher Education students, apprentices and local businesses.

The Stretford campus of Trafford College
The Stretford campus of Trafford College

The Altrincham Campus contains their dedicated 6th form centre, providing a range of academic qualifications to prepare students for potentially taking up higher education.

They also cater to people seeking a more vocational approach to learning, with a variety of Hospitality and Catering, Hair and Beauty and Sport and Uniformed Services courses delivered through their bespoke restaurant and bar, a professional salon and spa, photography studios, fitness center and more.

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The campus also houses the Creative Arts building providing a large number of full and part time courses for young people and adults, as well as a Foundation Learning department delivering courses with a focus on personal development and progression into vocational and academic studies.

Trafford College is part of the newly established Trafford College Group, which also includes The Cheadle College, Marple Sixth Form College and Stockport College.

The merger was approved May 4 2021 to create the largest education provider in the Stockport region with over 12,000 students.

Students from Trafford College celebrating their A-level results
Students from Trafford College celebrating their A-level results

The group structure and ethos of ‘One College, Local Difference’ ensures that each college retains its local identity in order to meet the needs of its specific community. Students will see and feel very little change, but they can have confidence and reassurance that behind the scenes their education is being delivered and supported by a large college group.

James Scott, Principal and CEO of Trafford College Group said: “Our aim at Trafford College is two-fold – to provide an inclusive educational offer that serves the needs of our local community for young people and adult learners; and to provide a careers focused curriculum that meets the needs of local businesses, and enables our students to further their employment prospects.

“In short, we are here to ensure our students develop the skills, attitudes and behaviors required for success in life and work.”

Trafford College’s Open Day is taking place on Thursday 17 Marchbetween 4.30pm-7pm.

If you want to find out more about what the college can offer you, visit their website here, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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