With just over a month until WorldSkills Calgary 2009, all eyes are focussed on Team UK as they make their final preparations for Canada. But as we eagerly countdown to the event, we must look beyond the anticipation and excitement of the Opening Ceremony at Stampede Park in Calgary and realise the vital role skills competitions play in today’s society.

At UK Skills we believe that such competitions offer significant benefits to all those who enter and support them. This is reinforced in the government’s skills agenda and supported by the Leitch Review of Skills.

However as the economic crisis continues to take hold and we see firsthand the tough conditions facing young people as they look for full-time employment, skills competitions have taken on an altogether more significant role.

Recent figures released by the government highlighted that record numbers of young people are out of school, training or work. These are worrying statistics and it is something that must be addressed. Indeed, as the economy recovers, we will need a highly trained workforce to allow the UK to compete effectively in the global market place. And it is skills competitions which are the perfect vehicle to encourage young people to develop their skill base and prepare them for future employment.

Throughout the year, UK Skills oversees the running of WorldSkills UK, the premier set of skills competitions for young people and adults. Run on both a regional and national level, the aim of the competitions is to help lift standards of training, promoting international competitiveness. The competitions are run in over 70 skills areas from Floristry to Engineering and outstanding WorldSkills UK National Finalists may be considered for potential inclusion in a shortlist for the team that goes on to represent the UK at a WorldSkills Competition. This was a route taken by many members of this year’s Team UK.

UK Skills is supported in its work by a number of partners in the education and training sector, but as we look towards WorldSkills London 2011 we want to encourage more organisations to get involved. From speaking with those partners that we already work closely with, it is clear they have benefited greatly from supporting the competitions.

When asked about the advantages of being involved with skills competitions, many highlighted that it has helped tutors and trainers to raise their teaching standards by allowing them to differentiate their training provision. What’s more, it provides the opportunity to showcase students’ achievements and for the student themselves it offers the chance to improve personal development, boosting their self esteem and motivation. This feeling is echoed by Oliver Clack, who is employed by Cathedral Works and is also a student at Weymouth College. He will be representing the UK at WorldSkills Calgary 2009 in Stonemasonry. On taking part in the competition, Oliver said: "It is an honour to be among the top in the UK. The thought of it makes me so proud of myself."

Involvement in competitions can help raise the profile of all educational organisations. Whether hosting, sponsoring or having a winning competitor at a regional, national or international level; getting involved in competitions is a great way to associate an educational institution with excellence and success. Pauline Waterhouse, Principal, Blackpool & The Fylde College, agrees with this. She explained: “Involvement in competitions has had a number of benefits at Blackpool and The Fylde College. Participation has built, very successfully, on the raising aspirations agenda. It’s been a very good way of motivating and incentivising students, as well as building confidence and self-esteem.”

She added: "It’s also provided a really good professional development for staff in terms of benchmarking best practice with other colleges and strengthening understanding of what constitutes excellence in different vocational areas. Overall, participation in UK Skills is a way of raising the profile of the FE sector and influencing, positively the value and perception of vocational education and training."

Through skills competitions, we can work together to lift standards of training and performance promoting world class skills and international competitiveness. Faced with continued economic uncertainty it is essential we don’t give up on training and keep encouraging new talent into the industry. It’s competitions like WorldSkills that already are and can continue to help us to achieve this. For more information please visit: www.ukskills.org.uk

And on that note, I’m sure you will all join with me in wishing Team UK the very best of luck in their final months of training, ahead of Calgary.

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

 

Read other FE News articles by Simon Bartley:

The UK's unsung heroes

UK Squad undergoing tough training for Calgary 2009

UK Skills chief Simon Bartley: Country needs to 'pull together and regroup'

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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