Find a Future (FAF) supports the development of vocational talent in the United Kingdom by selecting and training young people to compete in World Skills Competitions (WSC). It also organises The Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, held annually. Skills competitions, like those at WSC and The Skills Show, are seen as an important strategy for raising the attractiveness of vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, as evidenced by research and policy directives, such as the Bruges Communiqué. The UK has participated in the WSC since 1953. Under FAF’s guidance, the hands-on skills competitions and related experiential careers events aim to develop young people’s understanding of and engagement with further education, apprenticeships and skills.

Because competitions are carried out under world-class standards, they provide both a benchmark for high-performance and an objective way to assess vocational excellence. They also provide an opportunity to better understand the factors that contribute to the development of vocational skills to a high standard. This research project, supported by FAF, was carried out as competitors prepped for the 2015 WSC in Sao Paulo.

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