Seeing is believing when it comes to international skills competitions and EuroSkills Gdansk 2023 was the first time Team UK had competed in Europe’s premier skills tournament for 5 years.
From the UK perspective there was much to celebrate. After going head-to-head with 600 other skilled young professionals from 32 countries across 43 different skills, Team UK bagged nine medals including in areas experiencing rapid growth and technological change such as Digital Construction and Mechatronics.
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon pointed to this performance as proof of the UK’s world-class skills system, and praised the importance of international skills competitions in providing “an unparalleled opportunity for gifted young people to hone their skills and climb the ladder of opportunity towards a better and brighter future”.
Benchmarking UK skills against other countries is a key part of making sure the UK can remain in line with cutting edge industry needs and continually improve how we develop skills. International skills competitions allow us to learn from the best in the way skills are taught and spread this practice across classrooms and workshops nationwide. In this way WorldSkills UK is helping to build a more productive and highly skilled UK workforce needed for high quality jobs of the future. We’re also helping maintain the UK’s competitiveness for inward investment, with access to technical skills more important to global firms that ever before.
Our Centre of Excellence programme, run in partnership with NCFE, and Learning Lab are the vehicles we use to bridge the divide between domestic and world-leading standards in apprenticeship and technical education delivery, backing educators to support more young people move from competence to excellence in their skills for life and work. The insights we gather from international skills competitions also provide direction for future partnership agreements with fellow WorldSkills member nations excelling in areas where we are seeking to improve.
WorldSkills UK’s Training Managers were able to share a few of these insights with me on the ground at EuroSkills, and I have included key takeaways from the competitions below.