Our Deputy Chief Executive Ben Blackledge explains how our new Innovation Network will help us to mainstream excellence in skills development across the UK.

Speaking at our recent International Skills Summit, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Gillian Keegan MP, welcomed our innovative approach to supporting skills excellence in the UK. And colleges themselves have told us that they would welcome a new initiative because they value being part of a shared community and having the opportunity to embed world-class practices and techniques.

Therefore, following the overwhelming demand for our Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, which launched last year, we decided to launch the Innovation Network to explore how we can work with the sector to provide access to international benchmarking and national good practice and really mainstream excellence. I’m particularly pleased that through the 30 plus colleges who will initially be part of the Innovation Network, we will have representation from all regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, providing a truly UK approach to this work.

The first set of activities for the Innovation Network start this month. Over the coming quarter, these will include Team UK performance improvement practices, international exchanges and benchmarking tools. These resources and insights will be accessed and explored within the creation of the network to share best practice and, together, develop excellence.

By forming the Innovation Network, along with our continued work in the Centre of Excellence, we want to provide teachers and trainers with new ideas from both within the network and across the international community. We believe this gives us all the best chance to deliver world class training to young people, at a time when this is more important than ever.

More details on the Innovation Network will be shared throughout 2021, so watch our website for updates.

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