What it takes to put on WorldSkills UK LIVE
Emma Parley, WorldSkills UK Head of Operations, explains what it takes to stage WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest apprenticeships, skills and careers event.
Friday, 03 Jan 2020
What does it take to stage WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest apprenticeships, skills and careers event? A lot of team-work and collaboration!
This includes 29 competition organising partners across the UK who work together with industry to compile the tools, equipment and materials needed to run the National Finals. We couldn’t run the event without the huge support of our value in kind sponsors, volunteers and all our exhibitors that provide valuable advice and incredible career opportunities to our visitors.
We take over 65,000 square metres at the NEC in Birmingham every November to host WorldSkills UK LIVE and the National Finals. This is seven halls at the NEC and is the size of over nine football pitches!
53,000 meals are served and over 5,000 people either work on, exhibit in, compete in, volunteer with or help deliver this epic event.
From Floorplan to LIVE
We create a floorplan of what the event is going to look like, this is drawn to scale and is developed over the year. The floorplan comprises of 60 different skills competitions to house over 500 competitors,150 different exhibitors and interactive, experiential career advice and activities. The floorplan is the then ‘marked out’ on the hall floors of the NEC ready for the build to take place.
WorldSkills UK LIVE takes six days to build, it’s open for three days and it takes one and a half days to pull down and remove.
We register all the competitors, volunteers, exhibitors and staff which we call our ‘Delivery Team’ and they have an accreditation badge to enter the event. We also separately register all the 70,000 visitors that attend over the three days.
On Thursday and Friday, the majority of our visitors are school groups, and on Saturday it's family day, where young people come back to the event with their parents. School groups are sent a ‘welcome pack’ prior to the event which contains wristbands for each person attending and exciting information on the event.
At peak times on the Thursday and Friday mornings we have approximately 6,000 people every half hour scanned through the doors.
In 2019 we had:
- Over 700 schools and colleges attend
- Over 300 exhibitors, sponsors and competition value in kind supporters
- Over 400 volunteers
Watch the highlights from the 2019 event