Parisa Shirazi, Head of Skills Development and International Competitions, WorldSkills UK

It was fantastic to see young people at the heart of the government’s plans to rebuild the economy. We know that the impact of this pandemic will affect young people disproportionately, so it is essential that support is provided to help them prepare for and secure sustainable employment.

However, we need to ensure that for all of the initiatives announced there is a strong focus on quality, ensuring that training is levelled up not down. Critical to the future of the economy will be a renewed focus on higher quality skills, which is why I was heartened to read the Education Secretary’s announcement last week in which he detailed his plans to build a ‘world-class’ further education system. At WorldSkills UK, we share this ambition and it was the driving force behind our Centre of Excellence, which we have developed in partnership with NCFE.  

Launching in September, the Centre of Excellence will see us working with colleges throughout the UK to use our unique insights into global skills systems and NCFE’s experience in curriculum development to help mainstream world-class standards in teaching, learning and assessment. This will help thousands of young people boost their potential.  

We have been benchmarking internationally and honing our training methods for many years through our involvement in WorldSkills, the global hub of skills excellence which also runs the biennial international skills competition known as the ‘Skills Olympics’. Yet, until now we have not yet systematically transferred this knowledge outside the competition setting. We knew this had to change. Watching China and Russia use their membership of WorldSkills to mainstream global industry standards into their training indicated that we could use our insight and experience to add value right across the UK skills systems.

To support our thinking, we commissioned SKOPE to explore in more detail the role of WorldSkills UK Training Managers. These are often the unsung heroes of our skills competition success so we felt it was vital that we understood the unique role they play and how this expertise and experience could be used to inform the future of skills development. The report ‘Good People in a Flawed System: the challenges of mainstreaming excellence in technical education’ highlighted the missed opportunity to spread the learnings that Training Managers accrue from international competitions to help achieve world-class standards. The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence will change this.

Despite the current challenges that are facing the FE sector, we had an excellent response from colleges who wanted to be part of the Centre of Excellence, which is initially running as a three-year pilot programme. This shows there is an incredible appetite in the sector to drive excellence in technical education and as a result, we will be re-opening the application process for colleges to join the Centre in its second year in 2021.  

The successful colleges selected to be part of the Centre in its first year will be appointed a WorldSkills UK High Skills Performance Coach, who will support staff to enhance their teaching, learning and assessment provisions by developing curriculum to embed world-class competencies and practices. Drawing on their experience of training young people to compete at higher technical levels at WorldSkills, the coaches will help teaching staff to adopt world-class standards through the application of new techniques and practices in technical skills development. This will provide enhanced approaches to formative and summative assessment. Key to the success of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, will be our global network of experts and trainers. They will work with our Coaches to ensure that the insight we gain into the latest international industry standards through our current preparations for WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 is fed directly back into the FE system.

Later this year, we will be launching The Centre of Excellence Digital Workshop Programme. Available to all colleges throughout the UK, the free digital resources will support teaching staff to embed world-class techniques and practices into teaching and learning environments.

The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence will give access and insights into elite, world-class training methods to help some 40,000 young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, get the best possible quality training available to set them up for life.

Parisa Shirazi, Head of Skills Development and International Competitions, WorldSkills UK

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page