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Looking ahead to Squad UK Selection for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013

This summer we will see some of the UK‘s most talented apprentices, employees and learners battling it out for a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 at selection events taking place around the country.

As many of you know, the competitors that take part in the Squad UK Selection competitions are invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions or other industry events. The WorldSkills UK Competitions reward real talent and drive up levels of expertise in further education, skills and Apprenticeships.

Competitors who are successful in securing a place in Squad UK from this summer’s selection events will undergo a specialised training programme supported by a dedicated Training Manager for each skill.  They will then compete for a place in Team UK by taking part in selection events which will be held throughout the UK in March 2013.

The UK is currently ranked fifth in the WorldSkills ranking ahead of France, Germany and China after Team UK secured five Gold, two Silver and six Bronze medals at WorldSkills London 2011. Competitors also achieved 12 Medallions of Excellence by achieving the WorldSkills international competition standard. This was the UK‘s best ever result in the 62 year history of WorldSkills. Without the active involvement of colleges and training providers in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, we would simply not be able to enter competitors for WorldSkills and achieve such fantastic results so I want to thank you for your continued support.

I also want to extend my thanks to those colleges and training providers that are allowing teaching staff to commit to the role of Training Manager for Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills Leipzig 2013. We wouldn’t be able to enter a team without their expertise and support and I am sure that the knowledge and international experience they will gain will be of huge benefit to further education and Apprenticeships here in the UK.

If you have yet to see a skills competition taking place, I encourage you all to visit the first phase of Squad UK Selection competitions taking place on Thursday 28 June at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and Stephenson College, Leicestershire.

During the three day long competitions, judges will be assessing competitors’ knowledge and practical skills and their ability to perform under pressure in a competitive environment. Skills on show will include Cooking, Electronics, Floristry, Hairdressing, Bricklaying, Carpentry and Web Design among many others.

In partnership with both colleges, the National Apprenticeship Service will also be holding a discussion seminar on Thursday 28 June at 11am at both colleges for employers, college and training providers to find out more about the benefits of entering skills competitions. Representatives from North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and Stephenson College will share their experiences of how they have embedded competitions in the curriculum used them to promote higher standards of learning. Past WorldSkills competitors will also be on hand to talk about their experience of representing the UK in their chosen skill.

For those that are unable to make it along to this event I would urge you save another date in your diary to visit WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show, which takes place from 15 – 17 November at the NEC Birmingham. The Skills Show is the UK‘s first ever national skills event which will showcase the very best of what the UK‘s Apprenticeships and further education system has to offer.  The event will celebrate the achievements of apprentices and other highly skilled young people who are contributing to the new era of skills in the UK.  Many of the WorldSkills UK National Finals will also be held here from which I am sure future talent will be identified for the selection process for WorldSkills São Paulo 2015.

In the meantime, I’m sure you will join me in wishing all those competing at Squad UK Selection events this summer the very best of luck. If you wish to attend the Squad UK Selection events please contact Lorraine Ducker to register on 07810 156 455 or email [email protected].

Jaine Bolton is director of the National Apprenticeship Service

For more information about Squad UK visit:

WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show (15 – 17 November, NEC Birmingham) is now open for registration. For more information and to book a visit with your students visit, call 0845 475 1500 or email [email protected]

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