WorldSkills UK sets out emergency package of support

WorldSkills UK sets out how it will support the rebuilding of the UK economy during the coronavirus pandemic

Kate Parker

Coronavirus: WorldSkills UK sets out support for skills

WorldSkills UK has set out how it will support the UK economy as it begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation has launched an "emergency package of skills advice and provision", aiming to target nearly 200,000 young people in the first phase. 

Neil Bentley-Gockmann, chief executive of WorldSkills UK, said that the forecasted recession was set to affect young people disproportionately


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He said: "We know that crucial to rebuilding the UK economy will be highly skilled and motivated young people. 

“That is why, alongside continuing to attract investment by tackling slow productivity growth, adapting to technology change and plugging our skills gaps, we must stay focused on supporting the next generation so that they can play an active role in our economic recovery.

“The Covid-19 crisis has underlined the urgent need for governments, education and business to work together to press Control-Alt-Delete and reset the dialogue on the importance of skilled workers as quickly as possible and invest in high-quality training for all young people.”

The package of support includes: 

  1. Supporting schools and colleges with online careers toolkits to help teachers better advise young people about the benefits of choosing high-quality skilled routes, aiming to engage 35,000 students.
  2. Deploying more online careers advice models delivered by WorldSkills UK's alumni network. The former competitors will share their experience of work right now to inspire the next generation, aiming to offer 3,000 engagements. 
  3. Working with partners to deliver online assessment to help students and apprentices compete virtually in skills competitions to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance their current training with skills set and mindset development in national and international programmes. Some 3,000 apprentices and students are likely to be supported in this way over the coming months.
  4. Refocusing WorldSkills UK LIVE – the UK’s largest skills and careers event – to bring together employers, education, young people and parents – to provide more careers advice, workshops, masterclasses and hands-on support to equip 70,000 attendees to plan for the future and develop more digital outreach so more young people from across the UK can benefit.
  5. Driving forward the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, to give access and insights into elite, world-class training methods to help some 40,000 young people over three years from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the possible quality training available to set them up for life.     

Bentley-Gockmann added: “Underpinning the skills-led recovery is the development of a 'skills economy' [that] rightly values high-quality apprenticeships and technical education routes into skilled careers for all young people. 

“We are ready to hit the ground running and provide a comprehensive programme to give help and practical assistance to young people, education and business.  

“Our long-term ambition has always been to take our unique insight of international best practice and mainstream a wealth of knowledge gathered over decades directly into our skills system and business. Now we are using this insight to help give young people the confidence to plan their future and stay focused on their training because when young people succeed, we all succeed.”

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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