From education to employment

Do your students have what it takes to be crowned the best in the UK?

If the answer is yes, then why not encourage them to enter the UK’s greatest skills competition?

This week UK Skills began inviting colleges up and down the country to enter students into next year’s set of WorldSkills UK Competitions which opened for entry on 4 October. With over 50 skill areas including bricklaying, autobody repair, plumbing, caring, moving film, hairdressing, IT and engineering; there’s an opportunity for students to put their knowledge and practical skills to the ultimate test. And if successful at the initial regional stage of the competition, students can progress through to national finals where they will be able test their mettle against the country’s finest talent.

Organised by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the competitions are open to anyone studying or in employment. National skills competitions play a vital role in assisting the Government in achieving the objectives set out in its skills agenda. Over the years the benefits of WorldSkills UK Competitions have proved to be invaluable – for the students themselves, for employers and for all colleges that have been involved. Principal at Blackpool and The Fylde College, Pauline Waterhouse, for example, recently said about being involved that “participation in WorldSkills UK has built, very successfully, on the raising aspirations agenda.” She added: “It has been a very good way of motivating and incentivising students as well as building confidence and self-esteem.”

Above all though, I believe that the WorldSkills UK Competitions play a vital role in championing high standards of training, learning and development that help to equip UK industry with the skills it needs to thrive in the 21 century. By inspiring workers to be their best, we are unlocking the potential of the UK’s current and future workforce.

Get involved

As an added incentive to take part, for this year’s cycle of competitions WorldsSkills UK entrants will not only have an opportunity to be crowned the best in the UK, but will also be invited to visit WorldSkills London 2011, a unique global competition where young people from across the globe will compete to become the best of the best in their chosen skill. The WorldSkills Competition takes place every two years and will be held at ExCeL, London from 5th – 8th October, 2011. The event will be an opportunity to see how education and training can help people build expertise in their chosen skill. There will also be the chance to cheer on Team UK, who will be hoping to beat the UK’s current position of 7th in the World.

To see a full list of the available WorldSkills UK competitions and to enter, simply visit or call 0800 612 0742.

Promote WorldSkills UK in your college

WorldSkills UK promotional toolkits will be sent to all colleges across the UK and will be available online in October.

Simon Bartley is chief executive of UK Skills, which champions learning through competitions and awards


Read other FE News articles by Simon Bartley:

Looking forward to skillscymru

A fresh look at careers advice

FE needs a new Apprenticeship framework

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