From education to employment

Squad UK selection for WorldSkills London 2011 commences

With just under a year to go until we host WorldSkills London 2011, our future stars of the event are this month battling it out to secure a place in the group that will train as Squad UK.

Over 100 young people will take part in the selection competitions as we look to identify those who are displaying the ability to compete on the world stage. Taking place in colleges and training centres throughout the UK, the competitions will be run in over 40 skills ranging from Electrical Installation, Mobile Robotics and Web Design to Cooking, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy.

During the three day long competitions, judges will be assessing competitors’ knowledge and practical skills. They will also be looking at the competitors’ ability to perform under pressure in a competitive environment.

As I am sure many of you are aware, the process for identifying potential members to take part in the Squad selection competitions started two years ago during the past cycles of WorldSkills UK Competitions. Without your college’s involvement in these national competitions, the UK would simply not be able to enter a team for WorldSkills and I want to thank you for your continued support. I also hope that you will be entering as many students as possible to this year’s cycle of WorldSkills UK as we look beyond WorldSkills London 2011 and start the process again for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

If you have yet to see a competition taking place, I encourage you all to visit the selection competitions taking place from 2 – 4 November at Stephenson College, Leicestershire, City College, Coventry and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. This will not only allow you to see the young people competing but also learn more about the benefits of being involved with skills competitions at a national and international level. Highlighting how skills competitions can be embedded in the curriculum programme, Marion Plant, Chief Executive and Principal of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College said: ” I am extremely passionate about the value that skills competitions deliver. Our college is very proud to be supporting this exciting event where the skills excellence of young people from across the country will prompt celebration and positive reflection. Hosting selection competitions supports our innovative College-wide competitions strategy which embeds competitions into teaching and learning to raise aspiration and achieve excellence.”

To see young people compete in the Squad UK selection events in the Midlands please contact directly Stephenson College, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College and City College, Coventry.

The members of Squad UK will be formally announced at the Association of Colleges Annual Conference in November.

I’m sure you will join me in wishing all those competing at Squad UK selection competitions the very best of luck and do visit FE News for coverage of the Squad UK announcement.
Simon Bartley is chief executive of UK Skills, which champions learning through competitions and awards

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


Read other FE News articles by Simon Bartley:

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

Looking forward to skillscymru

A fresh look at careers advice

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