Following a highly successful three-year pilot program, the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, developed in collaboration with NCFE, will now be open to all Further Education (FE) Colleges, independent training providers, and Higher Educational Institutions throughout the UK.

Distinguished as the first of its kind in the UK, the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence offers a comprehensive range of world-class resources. These include teacher training, interactive networks, and valuable international insights gained through WorldSkills UK’s global partnerships. As a result, educational institutions and educators gain access to cutting-edge quality improvement strategies that ensure the highest standards of education and training, with excellence as the core focus.

Ben Blackledge, Interim CEO, WorldSkills UK 

“It is fantastic, that following a hugely successful three-year pilot programme, we can now open the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence to all in the apprenticeship and technical education sector.

“From speaking with members of the pilot, we know that the programme is already delivering results for educators and young people, inspiring learners at all abilities to achieve their own level of excellence.  We want to build on that success and ensure we are delivering for employers too.  That is why this next stage of the Centre of Excellence will have a strong focus on innovation, creating opportunities for business and education to come together to achieve the shared ambition of a truly world-class technical education system.

“In key growth sectors covering digital, net zero and advanced manufacturing, these networks will support the development and delivery of skills specific, industry led and internationally benchmarked training. Providing the sector access to insights and learning from across the global WorldSkills network.”

The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence programme will now be delivered through three interdependent strands: world-class teacher training, a global community for thought leadership to influence policy and practice, and a Network for Innovation which will include communities of practice in digital, net zero and advanced manufacturing. 

David Gallagher, Chief Executive of NCFE

“NCFE and WorldSkills UK share a passion for innovation and are both committed to helping to create a fairer and more inclusive society through the delivery of exceptional technical education, including meeting the needs of employers and the economic demands of key sectors across the UK.

“If we are to achieve this, we believe that our educators need greater access to world-class teacher training, interactive networks, and international insights.  That’s how we can unlock their potential, so they are able to then deliver the highest quality education and training to our workforce of the future.”

Since its launch three years ago, the pilot programme has proven to be hugely popular, and has continually been oversubscribed.  It currently encompasses 48 organisations, made up of FE Colleges and independent training providers across the UK. 

Alongside continued investment from NCFE, the Skills and Education Group and Autodesk also join as funding partners, in a move that recognises the value and importance of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence in helping to deliver a world-class skills system.  It will remain free for organisations to join and there will be a continued focus on both technical and transferable skills, including WorldSkills UK’s medal-winning mindset development programme. 

Scott Forbes, Chief Operating Officer (Development and Delivery) Skills and Education Group

“It’s no secret that the Skills and Education Group is committed to developing the FE sector’s workforce. In order to achieve a world-class skills system and to ensure our students are industry ready – armed with the technical know-how employers need – we must invest in our teachers. We are therefore delighted to be championing the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence as it enters its next phase, and we look forward to seeing the results of this initiative over the next three years.”

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