Welcome to our 2020-21 Annual Review, which not only reflects on a period in which we all faced significant and unpredictable challenges, but one that also enabled us to create new opportunities to continue to drive forward the valuable work of WorldSkills UK.
I am proud, that by taking decisive and timely steps as the Covid-19 crisis hit last year, we have been able to remain focused on our mission of improving the quality of apprenticeships and technical education for all young people and employers. That is why over the last 12 months, through the successful adoption of new ways of working, we have transitioned, becoming a quality improvement partner for the further education (FE) and skills sector.
Our work in helping mainstream global best practice to boost standards in teaching and training has already been recognised and celebrated by UK governments, FE colleges and employers, as the development of high-quality skills are placed at the heart of plans for economic recovery and growth.
The launch of our new programmes including the Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, which was recognised for its progressive approach to training in the Government’s ‘Skills for Jobs’ white paper for England, and our Innovation Network and Skills Development Hub now see us work with 95% of UK colleges, sharing international best practice in teaching, learning and assessment.
Crucial to our new approach is our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and this will always be a driving force behind our work. The members of our newly established advisory group will support and challenge us as we help more young people irrespective of their backgrounds, to make career choices that challenge and breakdown stereotypes.
By acting on the findings of our employer-focused research, such as our recent ‘Disconnected: Exploring the Digital Skills Gap’ report and combining our unique insight into global best practice in skills development, we are ensuring more employers can be confident about accessing the high-quality skills they need to be internationally competitive.
We have bold ambitions at WorldSkills UK, and through the ongoing endorsement and co-investment of our 3,000 partners, for which we are hugely grateful, we will continue to play our part in ensuring more young people are emerging from their training highly skilled, confident and ready for work, helping to build a stronger economy and prosperity for all.