Today we launched our new Skills Taskforce for Global Britain, which will be tasked with creating a post pandemic plan to deploy world class skills to attract inward investment.

Commissioned by WorldSkills UK, chaired by former Director General of the CBI John Cridland CBE with global consultants EY as a Founding Member, the taskforce will generate a longer-term vision for productivity and prosperity from now until the end of the decade.

The taskforce is at the epicentre of the Government’s commitment to use a skills-based economy to drive growth, productivity and ‘levelling up’ in Global Britain.

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK, said: “For UK industry to attract the inward investment we need to grow, be internationally competitive and create high quality jobs – we have to develop world class skills.  Failure to do so means we will not only fall behind our global competitors, but also let down the next generation. The taskforce will put in place a roadmap to help ensure Global Britain prospers in the post pandemic economic surge through to 2030 powered by growing world-class talent.”

Taskforce Chair John Cridland said: “With global competition for inward investment getting fiercer every year, the UK must be able to add world-class skills to its international calling card. We have much work to do.”

Josie Cluer, EY’s Lead Partner for Learning and Skills in the UK, is a founding member of the taskforce. Commenting, Josie said: “Skills are key drivers of social inclusion, productivity, economic growth and inward investment, and will therefore play a critical role in the UK’s long term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s positive to see businesses, Government and the third sector coming together to focus on this important issue. We are delighted to be a founding member of the Taskforce for Global Britain, through which we hope to help chart a course to create a world-leading skills economy by 2030.”

The launch of the new taskforce was announced during our International Skills Summit, hosted in partnership with NCFE at Dudley College of Technology.

Commenting on the launch of the Taskforce, CEO of NCFE, David Gallagher, said: “Excellence in education and skills is fundamental to setting the standards which will attract the global interest needed for a post-pandemic recovery. But I’m more than aware that to achieve this culture of excellence, inspiring and driving the highest performance of our educators has to come first. Quite simply, for the UK to be competitive on a global scale, we need more truly world-class educators. I’m delighted for NCFE to be part of the International Skills Summit and to witness the launch of the Taskforce, building on the strong foundations established by WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, to create exceptional, world-beating skills’.

Members of the taskforce include:

  • John Cridland CBE (Chair),
  • Josie Cluer (Partner EY),
  • Baroness Ruby MacGregor-Smith CBE (President British Chambers of Commerce, non-exec Board Member Department of Education)
  • Neil Rami (Chief Executive West Midlands Growth Company)
  • Chris Sutton (Welsh Government’s Ministerial Advisory Board for the Economy, former Chair CBI Wales)
  • Linda Urquhart OBE (Non-executive Director Coutts and Edinburgh Airport)
  • Stephen Burgin (Board Director, Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, Chair of Governors, South Staffordshire College, Former Vice President GE Power Europe, Pro Chancellor Staffordshire University)
  • Andrew Hodgson OBE (Former Chair of North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Airbus and BAE Systems)
  • Dr Ann Limb CBE (Independent Business Chair of the UK Innovation Corridor)
  • Marie-Therese McGivern (Strategic Investment Board Northern Ireland, Skills Advisory Board Belfast Region City Deal, Chair Belfast Maritime Board)
  • Dr Adam Marshall (Adviser, CMI and Flint Global, former DG British Chambers of Commerce)

The taskforce will build on the work of our Centre of Excellence – partnered and funded by educational charity and awarding body NCFE – which is mainstreaming world-class skills as mastered by the best of the best from around the world by developing a cadre of world-class technical educators in colleges across the UK.

The three-year pilot project, which rolled-out last year, will impact more than 120 educational institutions, 1,000 educators and 40,000 young people.

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