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Accelerate your learning at The Skills Show

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There is clear evidence that those who take part in skills competitions, and their employers, benefit hugely from the experience.

The success stories of our past competitors are testament to that. In the last twelve months those that have taken part in WorldSkills UK Competitions have been responsible for painting the car that won Lewis Hamilton the Mexican Grand Prix, been the driving force behind a restaurant being named London’s best eatery and celebrated HM The Queen’s 90th birthday at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a spectacular floral installation. What is more, these accomplishments have been achieved by competitors who haven’t reached their 30th birthday yet.

As the evidence shows, preparing for and entering a skills competition alongside an established programme of training or study really can accelerate a young person’s career.

The challenge for us is to create a platform where the learnings we have gained from managing skills competitions, both nationally and internationally, could be transferred successfully into the wider FE sector, raising standards in all teaching and learning practises. With the back drop of significant educational reform driven by the Sainsbury review, apprenticeships and the Post 16 Skills plan this challenge became even more important.

In response to this, we are launching our ‘Accelerated Learning’ CPD Programme at this year’s The Skills Show. The programme is designed for practitioners that train, educate or lead activities for learners of all abilities including those with learning difficulties and disabilities.

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The programme will show practitioners that they don’t need to enter learners into WorldSkills UK Competitions to access the benefits that this type of activity offers. Our competition methodology can be embedded at the heart of teaching, learning and assessment, providing an innovative route to achieving higher skills for students through offering individual and corporate stretch within and outside the class enviroment.

At The Skills Show, a series of free taster sessions will give delegates an insight into how the programme, which commences in early 2017, can support a practitioner’s own CPD activity by offering new and innovative ways to teach lessons. Placing skills competitions at the heart of a scheme of work enables practitioners to deliver assessment conveniently and quickly while also re-energising their own teaching practises and their leaner’s commitment to study.

Involvement in skills competitions activity can also lead to increased and more meaningful engagement between training organisations and local businesses. Running competitions in the classroom or workshop can provide an opportunity to showcase the skills of apprentices and learners to businesses, while asking them get involved as judges can establish stronger links between training and industry.

The programme will also show how competition activity does not need to be expensive or time consuming, but how with the right tools it can provide a win, win situation for practitioners, businesses and apprentices and learners. Register here to attend a free taster session at The Skills Show to find out more about the ‘Accelerated Learning’ CPD programme.

Ben Blackledge, Director of Education and Skills Competitions, WorldSkills UK

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