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Current research

Our research projects aim to contribute and provide insight to key topics focused on careers, apprenticeships and skills. You will also find here additional collaborations with partners, using shared learning from our evidence base to add value on broader discussions within the sector.

Adopting global skills innovation for the UK

  • Using international insights to drive UK productivity

    WorldSkills UK is delighted to have worked with FETL and the RSA on the first major project of the WorldSkills UK Productivity Lab, which investigates inspiring examples of global innovation in TVET and skills. The project looks closely at the skills systems of WorldSkills members Russia, Switzerland, Singapore and Shanghai, examining how skills competitions can be used as a highly promising platform for skills innovation.

    Download the report

The skills implications of Industry 4.0

  • WorldSkills UK Engineering Industry Roundtable Report 2019

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    Engineering in the UK, like many other sectors, is in the middle of a digital transformation triggered by the increasing use of data and digital technology. New roles are being created and  existing roles are shifting to incorporate new requirements and expectations.

    WorldSkills UK convened representatives of the engineering sector and leaders from technical education to discuss the skills implications of this transformation. Having previously concluded that a tech-mindset could be the most important ‘qualification’ that a young person starting out in  engineering would need, this second roundtable asked delegates to discuss what the implications would be for engineering skills training in the future. This report provides a summary of the discussion that took place and the key conclusions.

    Read the full report

Collaboration is critical to making digital work for the construction industry

  • WorldSkills UK Construction Industry Roundtable Report 2019

    Read the full report



    The UK construction industry, like many others, is in the middle of a significant transformation, triggered by the increasing use of data, digital technology, and the greater use of off-site manufacturing in projects of all shapes and sizes. While productivity gains are there for the taking, the industry will struggle to exploit them without the right skills strategy in place.

    WorldSkills UK brought construction industry leaders and technical education professionals together to discuss some of the major issues that need to be addressed to make ‘digital’ work for the industry. This report provides a summary of the main themes discussed and signposts actions that WorldSkills UK will take forward and that leaders in the construction sector and skills sector can adopt.

    Read the full report

Celebrating LGBT+ role models in the FE sector

  • Creating an inclusive learning & working environment

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    WorldSkills UK brought together senior LGBT+ leaders and allies from across education, business and government to consider the challenges and opportunities faced by young people who identify as LGBT+ in the Further Education (FE) sector. The discussion focused on how celebrating LGBT+ role models can help create a truly inclusive working and studying environment. The panel highlighted how authentic, out leadership and allies can inspire the next generation and enhance organisational performance. It also outlined the steps needed to fully embed a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect across the sector.


    Read the full report

WorldSkills UK Tech Summit

Young people have their say

  • It's all a matter of perspective - What young people are thinking about their careers

    WorldSkills UK exists to see young people make the very best start in work and life,inspiring them to make bold and informed choices about their future.

    Central to doing this has been providing young people with a platform to speak directly to business, education and government. We have spent the past year cultivating a voice for young people beyond skills through our platform of youth engagement and research. We capture the views and opinions of young people on matters that directly relate to their future, sharing these insights and giving a new perspective that will start to change the national conversation in these areas.

    This report summarises the findings which have been generated by these activities and what we have learnt this year from a range subjects, from careers advice, to gender, to how
    technology is changing the shape of work.

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WorldSkills UK Engineering Roundtable

  • A tech mindset is the engineering qualification that matters

    This roundtable event was conceived out of a need to develop a future-facing perspective on the engineering industry exploring new technology and the implications this has for skills training and development. WorldSkills UK, as a partnership between governments, industry and education, decided to convene this discussion to look at how we prepare young people for this future.

    Download the report

WorldSkills UK Construction Roundtable

  • The future of construction is manufacturing

    This roundtable event was conceived out of a need to develop a future-facing perspective on where the construction industry is moving to in terms of technology, and the implications this has for skills training and development. WorldSkills UK, a partnership between governments, industry and the FE and skills sector, convened this discussion for stakeholders to consider how we prepare for the future.

    Download the report

Gender Bias Research

  • Closing the gender gap: exploring gender differences in careers advice and aspirations.

    WorldSkills UK and the Careers & Enterprise Company partnered together to develop a better understanding of how gendered stereotypes can impact the career choices of young women. From which we have produced this report ‘Closing the Gender Gap’ Exploring gender differences in careers advice and aspirations, surveying 2000 young people aged 11–19 and 2,001 parents of children aged 11–19.

    The findings in this report are a wakeup call and show that, despite past progress, we can never assume that further progress is inevitable when it comes to equality. This report provides a springboard from which we can be more ambitious. We look forward to working together and discussing with our stakeholder networks what more we can do to practically help further the career opportunities of both young women and men whilst, at the same time, supporting their parents and teachers.

    Read the report

Skills Competition Evaluation Project

  • The Competitive Edge: Insights into how skills competitions are improving participation and employability at a local level

    WorldSkills UK Competitions bring together apprentices and young people from across the country to compete to be the best in their chosen skill. Many training providers and employers have told us how skills competitions provide a form of accelerated development with young people achieving greater technical excellence in their skill, as they aim to meet ambitious standards set in the competitions. Young people who participate in competitions develop invaluable transferable skills and emerge as more well-rounded individuals. 

    WorldSkills UK commissioned The Edge Foundation to investigate the experiences of competitors who participated in local, regional and national competitions between 2012 and 2016. The research involved surveying a sample of competitors in November 2017, followed by several focused case studies in order to give more detail about individual experiences. The report shares some fascinating findings on the differences that skills competitions make to competitors.

    Download the research