30 November 2023
Discover the faces of WorldSkills Lyon 2024: Véronique Steffen
In this new portrait, meet Véronique STEFFEN, a teacher in restaurant services at the Lycée hôtelier (Hospitality school) Savoie Léman. At WorldSkills Lyon 2024, Véronique is a Sector Manager in the Social and Personal Services Sector.
A family affair
It wasn’t by chance that Véronique Steffen discovered the WorldSkills movement, but thanks to her father, who was a WorldSkills Expert in Cooking and then a Technical Delegate for WorldSkills France. When he retired after participating in several national and international WorldSkills competitions, Véronique was in turn asked to take part in the 46th WorldSkills France National Finals in 2022, as a Workshop Manager.
Last January, José Fonseca, Director of Competition for WorldSkills Lyon 2024, contacted Véronique to ask her to take on a new role within WorldSkills. As Sector Manager, Véronique is in charge of supervising Workshop Managers and Workshop Manager Assistants of the various skills in her Sector.
Teaching and transmission
Véronique attaches great importance to teaching and transmission, both in her daily work as a teacher and in her role at WorldSkills. Being part of the fourth generation to work in Hospitality and Food Services in her family, Véronique has a rather atypical background: after obtaining her French baccalauréat (high school diploma), she obtained a BTS (national diploma of higher education in France) in the Hospitality and Food services field, and then worked in several establishments before turning to teaching in a Hospitality School, to train others, and get closer to a more pedagogical approach to her profession.
Véronique shared her thoughts and ideas with us:
On the stereotypes associated with the Social and Personal services Sector, and on the importance of vocational training
“I myself have been confronted with stereotypes about the professions in this Sector. I was told that since I had ‘abilities at school’, I should continue my studies. As a teacher, I found myself dealing with young people who were failing at school and lacking self-confidence, because they were told ‘You don’t get good grades in class, you’ll end up in a vocational school’. After a few weeks or months of training, I’ve seen these young people completely change, blossom and develop their skills. I’m convinced that you can succeed and go very far in these fields, by going through this kind of training. I also hope that future generations will realize that you can have fun at work. These are professions where there’s real mutual respect, know-how, good manners, transmission from the older to the younger and respect from the younger to the older”.
On the WorldSkills movement and skills competitions
“When I joined the WorldSkills movement, I was impressed by the know-how of each of the Competitors… The state of mind within the movement, especially during the competitions, is also impressive. There are real human values, and support between Competitors, as well as a fraternal spirit. I urge everyone to come and see for themselves. It’s truly extraordinary!”