We are proud to announce this year’s finalists for the EDI Heroes Awards. We’re passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) because we want to help as many young people as possible, from all backgrounds, get the best start in work and life. Therefore, these awards were established in 2020 to honour individuals and organisations that promote and embed innovative practices, projects, and initiatives, making a positive impact on students, workplaces, and the wider skills system.

We are grateful for the enthusiastic support and sponsorship provided by both the Skills & Education Group and the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), who serve as advocates for these prestigious awards.

Scott Forbes, Deputy Chief Executive, Skills and Education Group said:

“The Skills and Education Group are extremely proud sponsors of the WorldSkills UK EDI Heroes Awards. We know that inclusion and collaboration are key to creating opportunities for all, and we believe everyone should have the chance to ride high and with flying colours. We wish each and every one of the finalists all the very best.”

We are equally grateful to all the individual award sponsors for their contributions. By collaborating closely, we can champion and set an example for creating workplace environments and cultures where every individual feels safe, valued, and a sense of belonging.

Dr Mandy Crawford-Lee, Chief Executive, UVAC said:

“UVAC is proud to support the giving of the EDI Heroes awards. Recognising the talent within our practitioner community and institutions for the help and encouragement they give to ensure successful achievement and progression for learners is inspiring. The skills system relies on innovation in the design and development of projects and initiatives that engage and reward success in learning. UVAC congratulates all the applicants for the quality in all they do.”

For the first time since the awards began, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be hosting the award ceremony in person at the Houses of Parliament, London on 7 March, 2024. This offers us a special chance to celebrate all the finalists in person, and eagerly await the announcement of this year’s winners.

Charlotte Nichols, the MP for Warrington North said:

“Congratulations to this year’s WorldSkills UK EDI Heroes Awards finalists! I am absolutely delighted to support the awards, and I’m thrilled that the award ceremony will be hosted in-person for the first time at the Houses of Parliament. This provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the outstanding finalists and anticipate the announcement of this year’s well-deserving winners.”

The finalists are listed below:

Rising Star – Skills & Education Group

· Dhimple Patel, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

· Haris Javed, Lloyds Banking Group

· Alice Amegah, World Bank

Role Model – Education & Training Foundation

· Lisa Nicholson, New College Lanarkshire

· Andrew Smith, The Open University (OU)

· David Jones, Pembrokeshire College

Inclusive Skills Development – FEWeek

· Hayley McKeswick, Newcastle College

· Lisa Nicholson, New College Lanarkshire

· Louise Gaskin, NESCOT

Skills Competition Diversity Champion – Onefile

· Lisa Nicholson, New College Lanarkshire

· David Jones, Pembrokeshire College

· Diane Smyth, North West Regional College

Network of the Year – AirProducts


· Northern College

· Coach Core Foundation

Skills Competitions Advocate – abpi

· Gower College Swansea

· Rotherham College

· North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

Initiative of the Year – UVAC

· STEM Learning

· Coach Core Foundation

· North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

Ben Blackledge, CEO, WorldSkills UK said:

“Congratulations to all the finalists. These awards are an amazing opportunity to highlight and celebrate the difference being made by organisations and individuals across the skills sector. We are passionate about championing the need for inclusive opportunities that give all young people the chance to succeed in work and life, and that is why we are thrilled to come together in person in a few weeks to celebrate and hear firsthand who the winners are.”

Stay tuned for the latest updates on the winner’s announcement via our social media channels on 7 March.

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