Bold new campaign to bring international expertise to UK construction

NOCN, one of the UK’s leading providers of construction sector qualifications, is continuing its pioneering campaign to boost UK productivity by sponsoring a delegation of construction industry leaders to the WorldSkills Competition, known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, in Russia from 22-27 August 2019.

The strategic partnership between NOCN and WorldSkills UK, which champions world-class apprenticeships and technical capability through skills competitions, is focused on driving increased production efficiencies and competitiveness through the ‘WorldSkills UK Productivity Lab’, which organises the exchange of skills and insights between businesses, educational bodies and governments internationally.

NOCN is the lead sponsor of the WorldSkills UK Productivity Lab’s scheme to take a party of construction sector heads to Russia to acquaint themselves with the world’s foremost skills innovations on show.

A packed itinerary will give insight to leading edge skills training and education and the cultivation of world-class aptitudes and behaviours in both entry-level and experienced leaners; and how to realise productivity gains through skills competition.

With the talent shortage now being felt acutely by construction firms up and down the country, industry leaders will have an invaluable chance to see how other countries address issues such as recruitment, diversity and fast-changing technologies.

As well as seminars and presentations, there will be opportunities for face-to-face meetings with international learning and development experts and policy makers from more than 70 countries.

NOCN managing director, Graham Hasting-Evans, said: “We took the decision to sponsor the ‘Seeing is Believing’ Programme, part of the Worldskills UK Productivity Lab after a recent CBI survey, which found that nearly three-quarters of businesses say productivity is the overriding driver for upskilling their workforces. Currently, we lag a long way behind other developed nations: it takes the UK five days to produce what our rivals in Germany and the US can deliver in four.

The ‘Skills Olympics’ is a truly international event, attracting the leading global players in skills development and training and is a fantastic opportunity to ramp up domestic productivity and compete in global markets, by learning from other countries. That doesn’t mean simply shoehorning someone else’s system into the UK - that won’t work. However, gaining an understanding of some of the latest key techniques underpinning other successful construction industries, then adapting these to suit our own, will.”

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “We are excited to be working more closely on our Productivity Lab programme with NOCN. It will use the very latest in global skills insights from the WorldSkills Competition, including from the construction industry, to help transform the wider skills systems by driving world-class skills development in the UK.”

The 45th WorldSkills Competition will be held at the KAZAN EXPO International Exhibition Centre, Kazan, between 22nd and 27th August.

Graham Hasting-Evans added: “We believe that international gatherings give the UK’s key sectors access to the world’s best skills innovations and knowledge transfers and help identify ways that policy can be changed to improve skills development. It means we will continue to bring employers and learners to events that can improve the areas they really need to focus on – English, the STEM subjects, digital and employability and management skills.”

Graham Hasting-Evans will be interviewed live from the WorldSkills Competition on 26 August about this initiative. Hear him speaking from 4:00pm (BST) on WorldSkills UK twitter feed.    

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