Countdown to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 begins with celebration of skills in the North West.

The selection of Team UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will take place in colleges and training venues across the North West from 29 March to 1 April.  

There are nearly 100 young people, aged 18 to 25, on the WorldSkills UK training programme for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, which is billed as the world’s toughest skills competition for apprentices.  The competition takes place from 14 to 19 October in the UAE.

In March, all those on the training programme will come together at four venues:  The Manchester College, Stockport College, Trafford College and Training 2000 to compete for the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the UK in their skill at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.  International competitors from countries including Russia, Singapore and India will also attend the event as part of their training ahead of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.   

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK which manages the UK’s entry into international skills competitions said:  “The WorldSkills Competition is a microcosm of how the UK is doing against economies across the world. By taking part we are able to showcase the skills of our apprentices, showing that the UK is open for business.

“Those competing in the selection for Team UK are inspirational role models.  By hosting the event as part of the skills celebration in the North West and working with the host colleges and training venues, we can show young people just how far an apprenticeship can take them.”

The selection of Team UK forms part of a week of celebration of skills in the North West which also includes Choices, The Greater Manchester Skills, Careers and Apprenticeships Show, which takes place at EventCity on 29 and 30 March.   This event is being run in partnership by the Careers & Enterprise Company, WorldSkills UK and Prospects.

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal, The Manchester College, said:  “We are delighted to be one of the host colleges for WorldSkills UK here in the North West and look forward to welcoming competitors from around the world to Manchester. The event will give our students the opportunity to gain inspiration from their fellow students and give us the opportunity to show the world how we nurture and train our young people to be the best they can be.

“Equipping people with the skills they need to grow in their careers is at the heart of what we do. Having the right skills to progress in your chosen career leads to job satisfaction, increasing productivity which in turn drives the economy.”

Simon Andrews, Principal and CEO Stockport College, said:  “After producing two former finalists of the WorldSkills UK Competition we are once again delighted to be hosting a section of the event at Stockport College. As a part of our apprenticeship provision we believe the key to inspiring our apprentices is by getting them involved in the work they believe in, engaging them first-hand in the opportunities that an apprenticeship can lead to. As well as organisations and training providers across Greater Manchester collaborating to identify young people that can represent the UK as a highly skilled workforce, we are also reinforcing the confidence and ambition that drives all learners and apprentices to succeed. It is because of the bespoke vocational training and education provided by all those involved in WorldSkills UK that we have become an integral component in reducing the skills gap in the North West and UK as a whole.” 

Lesley Davies, Principal and CEO at Trafford College said: “As the new AoC WorldSkills UK Lead for the North West, I am delighted that Greater Manchester is hosting this prestigious event.  It is a real privilege for Trafford College to be involved and further reinforces our commitment to providing every young person with the opportunities to unleash their full potential by developing their specialist skills, and improving wider employability skills.

 “Competitions raise aspirations as well as standards and this is a tremendous opportunity for the young people of Greater Manchester to see these inspirational competitors perform at the very highest level, demonstrating the skills they have achieved through their studies.  I would like to congratulate all the finalists and wish them the very best of luck at the competitions in March.”

Steve Gray, Training 2000 CEO said:  “We’re delighted that our Advanced Manufacturing & Automation Centre has been chosen as a host venue for the selection of Team UK competitors, who will take part in the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi.”

“We’re a strong supporter of skills competition, with Training 2000 finishing 5th out of 140 providers at WorldSkills UK National Competitions in 2016, and we’re excited to host this selection as participants who have already proven their abilities at the national level compete for a place in this truly global event.” 

Team UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be announced on 21 April.

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