Will Torrent has been crowned the winner of the 2012 WorldSkills UK Alumni
Award for Outstanding Achievement, topping off an incredible year for the chef
who is a member of the WorldSkills UK Alumni Advisory Board, WorldSkills
UK Ambassador and WorldSkills International Medallion winner.
The WorldSkills UK Alumni Awards reception, held on Saturday 17 November for
all UK Alumni, preceded the closing ceremony of WorldSkills UK - The Skills
Show, a national celebration of skills, learning and apprenticeships.
The Skills Show highlights included the WorldSkills UK National Competition
Finals as well as pressure testing events for Squad UK. All members of Squad
UK hope to earn a place in Team UK, the team that will compete at the
international WorldSkills Competition, taking place in Leipzig next summer.
Deputising for chief expert and squad and team UK training manager Yolande
Stanley MCA, Will was at The Skills Show heading up the pastry competition,
the same skill in which he competed in internationally at WorldSkills Shizuoka
(Japan) 2007, bringing home the first medallion of excellence for a British pastry chef.
At the event, Will judged and helped organise the Squad UK competition but
he was also on hand, as a WorldSkills UK Ambassador, to entertain HRH Princess
Anne (president of City & Guilds, premier sponsor of The Skills Show), Theo
Paphitis (star of BBC's Dragons Den, and patron of WorldSkills UK -
The Skills Show) and Matthew Hancock MP (Minister for Skills) throughout the
week. Will was able to talk to the VIP visitors about the show,
the international competition and about his competition journey and
The award for Outstanding Achievement was awarded to Will taking into
account his major achievements during 2012. Over the past year Will
has supported Waitrose, Heston Blumenthal and the royal chef Mark
Flanagan in designing and delivering the picnic served at the Diamond Jubilee
concert at Buckingham Palace. He has also been commissioned to write
his first book 'Patisserie at Home', which is due to be published in spring 2013.
Ian Whitaker, chairman of the WorldSkills UK Alumni Advisory Board,
said: "Since competing in WorldSkills Shizuoka 2007, where he achieved a
medallion of excellence as Team UK's confectioner/pastry cook, Will has
gone on to achieve a raft of successes which have propelled him onwards
and upwards in his career. Will is a very deserving winner of this award.
"This summer we welcomed Will as a member of the newly established
WorldSkills UK Alumni Advisory Board, a role in which he is already embracing.
I look forward to working with Will in the months and years ahead.
Jaine Bolton, chief operating officer, National Apprenticeship Service
and UK official delegate to WorldSkills, said: "Will received an unprecedented
number of nominations for this award from professionals in industry, education
and the media.
"On behalf of everyone at the National Apprenticeship Service I congratulate
Will on winning this Award and would like to thank him for his tremendous and continued efforts in promoting the work and values of apprenticeships and
WorldSkills UK competitions to individuals and communities."
On winning the award, Will said: "It's amazing to be recognised by not only
colleagues from the industry but also by the media and education sectors
but most importantly by my piers from the WordSkills UK Alumni. This really
has topped of a fantastic year for me and I can't wait to help Team UK
succeed at WorldSkills Leipzig next year".
The awards reception also saw WorldSkills UK Alumni members Linzi Weare
(Team UK, Hairdressing, 2009) and Katie Kryossis (Team UK, Restaurant
Service, 2009) win the Award for most valuable contribution to Skills and Learning.