WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence set for expansion: 140,000 young people to get world-class skills boost
More than 140,000 young people and nearly 5,000 educators will benefit from the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence over the next three years it was announced today (Wednesday 28 June).
Following a highly successful three-year pilot, the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, developed in partnership with NCFE, is expanding. From today (Wednesday 28 June) all FE Colleges, independent training providers and Higher Educational Institutions throughout the UK will be able to join.
The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence is the first of its kind in the UK. It encompasses world-class teacher training, interactive networks and international insights gained from WorldSkills UK’s global partnerships. This provides institutions and educators with world-class quality improvement strategies to deliver the highest standard of education and training, with excellence at its heart.
Ben Blackledge, interim Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “It is fantastic, that following a hugely successful three-year pilot programme, we can now open the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence to all in the apprenticeship and technical education sector.
“From speaking with members of the pilot, we know that the programme is already delivering results for educators and young people, inspiring learners at all abilities to achieve their own level of excellence. We want to build on that success and ensure we are delivering for employers too. That is why this next stage of the Centre of Excellence will have a strong focus on innovation, creating opportunities for business and education to come together to achieve the shared ambition of a truly world-class technical education system.
“In key growth sectors covering digital, net zero and advanced manufacturing, these networks will support the development and delivery of skills specific, industry led and internationally benchmarked training. Providing the sector access to insights and learning from across the global WorldSkills network.”
The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence programme will now be delivered through three interdependent strands: world-class teacher training, a global community for thought leadership to influence policy and practice, and a Network for Innovation which will include communities of practice in digital, net zero and advanced manufacturing.
David Gallagher, Chief Executive of NCFE, said: “NCFE and WorldSkills UK share a passion for innovation and are both committed to helping to create a fairer and more inclusive society through the delivery of exceptional technical education, including meeting the needs of employers and the economic demands of key sectors across the UK.
“If we are to achieve this, we believe that our educators need greater access to world-class teacher training, interactive networks, and international insights. That’s how we can unlock their potential, so they are able to then deliver the highest quality education and training to our workforce of the future.”
Since its launch three years ago, the pilot programme has proven to be hugely popular, and has continually been oversubscribed. It currently encompasses 48 organisations, made up of FE Colleges and independent training providers across the UK.
Alongside continued investment from NCFE, the Skills and Education Group and Autodesk also join as funding partners, in a move that recognises the value and importance of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence in helping to deliver a world-class skills system. It will remain free for organisations to join and there will be a continued focus on both technical and transferable skills, including WorldSkills UK’s medal-winning mindset development programme.
Scott Forbes, Chief Operating Officer (Development and Delivery) Skills and Education Group said: “It’s no secret that the Skills and Education Group is committed to developing the FE sector’s workforce. In order to achieve a world-class skills system and to ensure our students are industry ready – armed with the technical know-how employers need - we must invest in our teachers. We are therefore delighted to be championing the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence as it enters its next phase, and we look forward to seeing the results of this initiative over the next three years.”
Zoe Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive, Middlesbrough College said: “WorldSkills UK’s mentors have been inspirational, allowing us to innovate and develop our practice and raise our skills profile within subject sectors.
“An early indicator of success with students and apprentices is seeing the change in the way they problem-solve and aim for precision and accuracy. They now sit back and look at where errors might have come into their work and analyse how that happened. That’s helped them build confidence and enhance the skills that get them in front of employers and move them ahead in their careers.
“Another exciting element has been the mindset training that benefits students before stressful situations such as exams or competitions and helps them plan their work efficiently. For many students that’s meant moving themselves and their work from competence to excellence.”
To join the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, please register your interest here.
NCFE has been appointed by the Department for Education (DfE) to evaluate the success of its Multiply programme, a government-funded initiative to help adults improve their numeracy skills.
NCFE’s Endorsed Programme allowed them to have a professional structure, which suited the needs of the educators engaged with their programme.
Educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning, NCFE, has been approved to offer Digital Functional Skills qualifications (DFSQ) following technical evaluation by Ofqual.