Laura Leong, WorldSkills UK High Performance Skills Coach  

International collaboration and the sharing of best practice is vital if we are to establish a world-class technical skills system.  That’s why our formal partnerships with WorldSkills members are an integral part of our Centre of Excellence’s Network of Innovation.  These partnerships will allow us to bring international insights back to the attention of UK educators to help address current challenges and drive excellence in the quality and delivery of technical and vocational education and training.

Photo of Laura Leong

To coincide with the expansion of our Centre of Excellence, we recently invited our international partners to participate in an exchange of skills and knowledge between nations for the first time.  What followed was a lively and fascinating discussion into the skills practices of WorldSkills members including France, Korea, Netherlands, Chinese Taipei and Kenya.

Delegates from Chinese Taipei talked us through their strategies for developing strong talent pipelines in digital skills, and how industry plays a vital role in this.  It was clear to see that industry specialists are firmly involved in qualification design and that they play an integral part in supporting the development of excellence from early on, at a pre-vocational age.  The importance of early engagement with young people, was also highlighted by other WorldSkills members. Representatives from WorldSkills Netherlands detailed the great work they do in inspiring and engaging pre-vocational aged learners through competition-based activity, particularly in innovative team competitions that create confidence and raise awareness of different careers.     

Our WorldSkills Korean colleagues spoke about their initiative for capacity building in developing nations, which clearly showed their passion and willingness to support sustainable skills development to help close skills gaps around the world.  WorldSkills Kenya presented an inspiring and uplifting overview of their journey to date and the progress they have made in their mission to positively impact young people’s lives through developing careers in TVET. Their partnerships with WorldSkills Germany, UNESCO, industry partners and WorldSkills UK have helped them to develop competitions in areas that they have identified as key economic drivers.

With WorldSkills Lyon 2024 just 12 months away, WorldSkills France presented on how they are looking to make the largest skills event in the world, a blueprint for the international events industry. They discussed how it will have an increased focus on sustainability, with environmentally friendly practices embedded throughout.

Our UK presentation focused on how we are using diagnostic research to develop our programmes to meet the needs of young people and industry, by championing future skills.  We also shared how we are using the insight from the WorldSkills international community to inform policy and practice in our skills systems to raises standards. 

All international partners have now been invited to collaborate in our upcoming case studies creating a mutually beneficial resource for members of the Centre of Excellence.  To find out how your institution can benefit from the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence attend our free information session at Trafford College during the WorldSkills UK National Finals.  

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