Anne Milton: 'Run skills competitions for over 25s'

Former apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton urges WorldSkills UK and the combined authorities to collaborate to promote skills for adults
6th November 2020, 2:13pm

Share

Anne Milton: 'Run skills competitions for over 25s'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/anne-milton-run-skills-competitions-over-25s
Anne Milton: 'run Skills Competitions For Over 25s'

Former apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton has called on WorldSkills UK to run skills competitions for adults over the age of 25.

In an essay for WorldSkills UK published today, Ms Milton writes that WorldSkills UK and the combined authorities have to collaborate to promote skills for adults.

She writes: "One area in which I would like to see WorldSkills UK and the combined authorities collaborate would be in promoting skills for adults. WorldSkills UK is a way of demonstrating what young people under the age of 25 can achieve. 

"WorldSkills UK's next challenge could be to demonstrate what adults can achieve through running skills competitions for adults over 25. WorldSkills UK is the arbiter of excellence in standards of technical education, and we need to mainstream it - to people of all ages."


News: GCSE resits in maths and English up by over 50 per cent

Adult education: less focus on work-based skills needed

Anne Milton: 'FE minister is the best job in government'


Currently, only those aged between 16 and 23 are eligible to enter WorldSkills international competitions, however, there is no age limit on regional and national competitions. 

Ben Blackledge, deputy chief executive of WorldSkills UK, said: "We agree that the best way to power our post-Covid recovery is to invest in high-quality skills development that is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or background. There is no age limit for our national competitions; the only restriction is when we compete internationally, where there is an age limit of 23 and under for the majority of skills.

"There are some great examples of WorldSkills' members delivering activities to engage with and upskill people aged 25 and over, and as ever we are working with them to look at how we can adopt this international best practice. We are committed to learning from our international partners to mainstream excellence in skills development across the UK."

Funding devolution 

In the essay, Ms Milton also raises concerns with funding and calls for further devolution alongside the adult education budget.

She writes: "Without doubt, some of the money that goes to FE could be devolved to local authorities and combined mayoral authorities. When we devolved the adult education budget to some regions of England, it was fascinating to see how different areas were starting to use the budget. 

"And devolving the AEB was an important step. Not only were the local authorities doing very different things with the money, but they were also taking decisions that central government would have found it very hard to make. It was an opportunity for them to address the skills shortages in their local areas, which they understand better than anyone. They are very well placed to make those decisions." 

In a report published by the City and Guilds Group earlier this week, the organisation, along with the mayoral combined authorities and businesses, said that the government had to devolve more funding to regional areas for skills and employment or risk levelling down the chances of millions. 

At the time, Kirstie Donnelly, chief executive of the City and Guilds Group, said: "The challenges and solutions were often different in each area and mayoral teams felt that they were not always enabled to act quickly and effectively enough with local solutions.  

"In addition, much of the announced government skills support is simply happening too late - we need urgent action and the immediate release of earmarked skills funding to help people retrain and reskill into new jobs." 

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters