The 2016 cycle of WorldSkills UK Competitions opens for entries on 1 March 2016, offering the UK’s most talented learners and apprentices the chance to put their skills to the test in over 60 skill areas.

The competitions are designed to enable young people to build on their skills and showcase their talents to employers. More than 3,500 highly skilled young people registered to take part in 2015, with almost 700 qualifying for the national finals in more than 60 different disciplines. Those who are successful at this year’s finals, held at The Skills Show in November at the NEC Birmingham, will place themselves in contention for selection to Squad UK, which will then begin training towards WorldSkills Kazan in 2019.

To coincide with the start of registrations for the new cycle of competitions, the organisation responsible for their implementation has changed its name. From 1 March 2016, WorldSkills UK will bring together WorldSkills UK Competitions, The Skills Show – the nation’s largest skills and careers event, and the WorldSkills UK Champions programme, which works with former national and international competitors to create role models for young people across the country.

“Our work places competitions at the heart of all that we do,” explains Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of the organisation, “and the reframing of the organisation under the WorldSkills UK name aims to highlight the impact that competitions and The Skills Show have on apprenticeships and technical skills in the UK. ”

WorldSkills UK will continue to lead on the implementation of the full WorldSkills UK competitions programme, as well as co-ordinating the UK’s representation in European and global competitions. The UK competition finals will continue to be hosted at The Skills Show at the NEC – the 2016 event takes place from 17 to 19 November.

“The new name for the organisation reflects an evolution,” continues Dr Bentley, “reinforcing the positioning of our work in support of the government’s agenda for skills and apprenticeships. It builds on our existing strengths – competitions and The Skills Show – and adds role modelling and research to the portfolio, to ensure we continue to demonstrate how competitions support business competitiveness, young peoples’ employability and excellence in standards.”

The new name for the organisation reflects an evolution…

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO, WorldSkills UK

Entries for the 2016 WorldSkills UK competitions cycle will remain open until 7 April. Age- and skill-eligible competitors who excel in the finals at The Skills Show could be selected to compete for a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills UK in 2019.

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