Describe your role at your college or organisation?


I’m an ambassador for the WorldSkills movement and one of the main WorldSkills ambassadors in Scotland which is a group of key influencers. I chair the six-weekly meetings and look to involve all the colleges, employers and key agencies. We work hard to improve the profile of skills in Scotland and also address the skills education policy. I’m also looking at the more strategic objectives of WorldSkills. It’s not just about biennial (national and international) skills competitions although that drives the excellence, so really we’re about supporting that wider ambition which manifests through the Centre of Excellence, Innovation Network and Learning Lab which is really important. What we’re trying to do is embed it into the day-to-day curriculum which fits in with the teacher excellence programme.

I’m also head of the WorldSkills UK academy at City of Glasgow College, where I oversee the national and the international competition programme and all the associated teacher excellence programmes which is aligned with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. In previous roles I’ve been involved in PDA (professional development awards) for teachers and the TQE (teacher quality enhancement)  qualifications for teachers in Scotland. I’m very much trying to integrate the teacher excellence aspects and longer-term looking at what the university offer is. I’m involved in related research and internationalisation projects so that involves Turing and Erasmus programmes among other European and international projects.

I have team meetings once a month and I run ‘lunch and learn’ events and lots of CPD activity, very much focussing on teacher excellence in bite-size sessions and our coaching programme.

How have you used WorldSkills UK's online learning resources in your work? How have the resources helped and supported you in your work?


Last year we ran the mindset masterclasses as a pilot and I reference it whenever I can. As soon as students had registered we encouraged them to work through the mindset masterclasses.  The feedback was that it was such a tight timescale and especially as they also had to go through the competition entry stage then the qualifiers and then the national which is so much pressure on the students. Then you have the teacher pressure of the full-time coursework.

The feedback was that it was invaluable to I suppose what we’re trying to do about that is select the best bits to match against the curriculum requirements. We are running all-staff events, keeping them short and looking at ways of embedding these into the curriculum. I call this the seven-step cycle and the ten excellence  characteristics. I’ve set up a benchmarking group and reference the WorldSkills Occupational Standards against the syllabus here, also taking cognizance of meta skills (critical workplace skills) which are part of our next generation framework. I do research on the WSOS our unique selling point or ‘golden thread’ which has recently introduced sustainability. I devise a training plan for the national competition programme so over ten weeks their measuring the development of meta skills within that. Very much we’re looking at what’s happening in the Learning Lab all the time.

How have your learners responded to these resources?


Very well, but we’re balancing the pressure as I said. Some students felt the language wasn’t right in the mindset module which they found a bit condescending. I like the new revised layout and the technical masterclasses are good.

How have they benefited from WorldSkills UK's online resources?


As soon as they’re enrolled I ask them to complete a competitor agreement and then work through the masterclass series which does help the trainer, so it definitely does promote independence in learning.

Do you have any advice for other educators thinking about using these resources?


Break it down, get it up on screen and explain what it is. Otherwise it can be rather daunting. Teachers are all very busy, so use bitesize lunch and learn or four o’clock learn events. It’s a fabulous resource. I have a team meeting and always have a link to the Learning Lab, the week after we have a four o’clock teacher excellence session called practical tips on how to embed the Learning Lab into your curriculum.

What I’m trying to do is inspire the educators so I’m going to bring in an inspirational expert and will link in the Learning Lab and include it in email follow up.

December 2022, we launched the new Learning Lab. We'd love to know if you have any feedback on how we could improve our online learning platform.


I think we need an induction to the Learning Lab.

The WorldSkills UK CPD event was really good, I’ll be circulating copies of all the videos because lots of people didn’t attend due to work pressure which is heavier than we’ve ever known.

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