Opinion: 'WorldSkills warrants as much attention as the Olympics'

UK success at the WorldSkills competition in Brazil next week could bring benefits for the entire UK skills system, according to the chair of Find a Future

Carole Stott

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The Rio 2016 Olympics may be a year away, but some of the UK’s brightest young talents are heading to Brazil this week to compete in WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, a competition that warrants just as much interest as the global sporting event.

WorldSkills is the global hub for skills development and excellence, and the competition takes place every two years in cities around the world.  São Paulo will host the competition from 11-16 August and more than 1,000 of the world’s top apprentices and learners will compete to win gold, silver and bronze medals in categories varying from engineering to construction and creative skills. 

Team UK is made up of 41 of our nation’s best young apprentices and learners who will be competing in 37 categories. The competitors have been in training for more than two years.  They were invited to compete for a place in Team UK after excelling in the WorldSkills UK national competitions, the finals of which were held at The Skills Show. They have been supported in their training by a dedicated training manager, their employer and college or training provider.

Team UK’s success at reaching WorldSkills showcases the high level of skills that exist in the UK. We strongly believe that São Paulo is not the end of the challenge but rather part of a movement to enhance and celebrate the UK’s technical and professional education system.

As a member of WorldSkills, the UK is able to share best practice in professional and technical teaching and learning on a global scale, raising standards and expertise in further education, skills and apprenticeships. The knowledge and lessons learned in the competition will be disseminated throughout further education and apprenticeships in the UK through the WorldSkills UK skills competition activity, run on an annual basis by Find a Future in partnership with organisations from industry and education.   

At Find a Future, we believe that the success of the UK at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 will not only benefit the 41 competitors and 37 training managers of Team UK, but will be felt across the entire UK professional and technical skills system. 

I’m sure you will join me in wishing Team UK all the best at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015.

For more on WorldSkills, read the 7 August issue of TES. You can do so on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents. For the latest updates from Brazil, keep an eye on the TES FE News website

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Carole Stott

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