Talented young people from across West Wales have been recognised for their outstanding skills at this year’s Skills Competition Wales awards.

Over 280 competitors from across Wales won an award in their vocational field, securing 96 gold, 92 silver and 97 bronze medals.

The announcement follows a series of competitions that took place in January and February, where a record-breaking 1,129 representatives from every corner of Wales competed to be named the ‘country’s best’ in their sector.

Competitions covered skill areas including culinary arts, web development, aeronautical engineering and renewable energy.

Bronze medallist, Mia Parkin, from Cardigan, competed in the Beauty Therapist category.

She described her competition experience: "Winning a medal means the world to me and has validated months of hard work and dedication!

“The biggest benefit of taking part in a skills competition is the representation it brings. I competed in Level 2 Beauty Therapy, and it’s been refreshing to show that we’re not just girls who like to do make-up and nails - we’ve shown that it’s a precise process, that it’s not as easy as it looks, and that hopefully, people can be educated that we do lots of physiology and anatomy lessons to make sure we’re working safely for each client.

“A stand-out moment for me was walking into the salon at Merthyr Tydfil College on the day of the competition and feeling a wave of calm wash over me. I just knew it was going to be an amazing experience no matter what the outcome was. I currently work in a spa, and my managers were very impressed when I told them I’d be participating, and it’s meant they’ve confirmed I will start working there as a full-time therapist in June when I’m qualified. Our college trained us to a really high standard and I'm now able to reflect that every day in college and work.

“Looking ahead, I'm applying for WorldSkills UK to compete for Wales and can't wait to get a head start on practice and preparation. I can't imagine not at least giving it a go after how much I enjoyed Skills Competition Wales!"