From education to employment

Andy Burnham & GMColleges Celebrates Skills Competition

GMColleges has seen a record breaking number of students register for WorldSkills UK Competitions, increasing 15% on last years’ entries.

The GMColleges Annual Skills Competitions were held in March and provided students with the opportunity to showcase the technical skills they have learnt across 10 specialisms including Music, Engineering, Digital, Construction and Art. These competitions provide not only an opportunity to develop technical excellence, but also personal attributes such as resilience, collaboration as well as skills employers look for in the workplace.

During the event over 800 Greater Manchester students took part in activities that tested the practical skills they have been learning during their time at college. Many of the students have now been entered for the WorldSkills competitions and will now compete against colleges from across the UK in regional and national heats.

This year has seen huge growth in WorldSkills UK registrations across the North West, with the region taking the top spot and securing 27% of the total sign ups. There has been a staggering 1657 students registered across the North West with GMColleges’ learners making up over 50% of those.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It is fantastic to see that Greater Manchester Colleges and their students are embracing skills competitions, they are a great way for learners to develop key employability skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and time- management.

“These competitions provide the opportunity for students to develop high-level technical skills, through taking part in activities that test these important skills. It is wonderful to see that the GMColleges has so many students registered for WorldSkills UK, it is testament to the commitment and hard work of the learners and the staff who teach and coach them.”

Trafford College Group Skills Specialist, Joan Scott said “These competitions are one of the highlights of our academic year. They provide an exciting opportunity for our learners to showcase the high quality technical skills that they have learnt during their time at college.

“The competitions centre around practical skills which ensure our students are ready for the workplace of the future. We are thrilled that the competition continues to grow year on year and wish everyone luck at the regional World Skills UK competitions.”

All nine General Further Education colleges in Greater Manchester are part of GMColleges including Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, Oldham College, Tameside College, The Manchester College, Trafford College Group, Salford City College Group and Wigan & Leigh College.

GMColleges represents the colleges, collectively delivering learning to 70,000 students, supporting them to meet the needs of the employers and the GM workforce, current and future, in key growth and employment sectors with training at all levels and ages from entry to postgraduate.

For more information on GMColleges please visit

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