Skills and Young People: Front Line Fight for Economic Recovery
@WorldSkillsUK the UK’s leading elite skills organisation has launched an emergency package of skills advice and provision to aid kick-starting the post pandemic economic recovery, Dr. Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, explains:
WorldSkills UK, which works to raise standards in technical education, has developed a five-point plan to support young people, now and in the future, develop their skillset and mindset to the highest possible levels so they can grow and succeed in their careers.
Nearly 200,000 young people are being targeted in the first phase of the programme.
The forecast recession is set to affect young people disproportionately. However, we know that crucial to rebuilding the UK economy will be highly skilled and motivated young people.
That is why alongside continuing to attract investment by tackling slow productivity growth, adapting to technology change and plugging our skills gaps, we must stay focused on supporting the next generation so that they can play an active role in our economic recovery.
The Covid-19 crisis has underlined the urgent need for governments, education and business to work together to press control-alt-delete and reset the dialogue on the importance of skilled workers as quickly as possible and invest in high quality training for all young people.
The five-point plan sees WorldSkills UK:
1. Online Careers Toolkits
Supporting schools and colleges with online careers toolkits to help teachers better advise young people about the benefits of choosing high quality skilled routes - aiming to engage 35,000 students.
2. Online Alumni Network
Deploying more online careers advice models – our alumni network of highly skilled individuals, who have achieved success in their careers, will share their experience of work right now to inspire the next generation – aiming to offer 3,000 engagements with our alumni of Skills Champions.
3. Online Assessment
Working with partners to deliver online assessment to help students and apprentices compete virtually in our skills competitions to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance their current training with skills set and mindset development in national and international programmes. Some 3,000 apprentices and students are likely to be supported in this way over the coming months.
4. Refocusing WorldSkills UK LIVE
Refocusing WorldSkills UK LIVE – the UK’s largest skills and careers event – to bring together employers, education, young people and parents – to provide more careers advice, workshops, masterclasses and hands-on support to equip 70,000 attendees to plan for the future and develop more digital outreach so more young people from across the UK can benefit.
5. WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence
Driving forward the ‘WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence’, a major new initiative with our partner NCFE to give access and insights into elite, world-class training methods to help some 40,000 young people over three years from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the best possible quality training available to set them up for life.
Underpinning the skills-led recovery is the development of a “skills economy” which rightly values high-quality apprenticeships and technical education routes into skilled careers for all young people.
We are ready to hit the ground running and provide a comprehensive programme to give help and practical assistance to young people, education and business.
Our long-term ambition has always been to take our unique insight of international best practice and mainstream a wealth of knowledge gathered over decades directly into our skills system and business. Now we are using this insight to help give young people the confidence to plan their future and stay focused on their training because when young people succeed, we all succeed.
Dr. Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK