Today, we’re launching our response to COVID-19. These are tough and uncertain times, and for young women and men looking to get their first step on the career ladder in the next few months and years, the outlook is challenging.

Three pieces of recent analysis spell out clearly some of the likely resulting challenges ahead for the labour market, jobs and young people, which have helped us at WorldSkills UK focus on how we help at this crucial time.

Our five-point action plan sets out the specific actions we are taking right now:

1. Supporting schools and colleges across the country with online careers toolkits to help teachers better advise young people about the benefits of choosing high quality skilled career routes – aiming to engage some 35,000 students;

2. Deploying more online careers advice role models – our alumni network of highly skilled individuals, who have achieved success in their careers, will share their experience of work right now with 3,000 young people to inspire the next generation;

3. Working with partners to deliver online assessment to help students and apprentices compete virtually in our skills competitions to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance their current training with skills set and mindset development in national and international programmes. Some 3,000 apprentices and students are likely be supported in this way over the coming months

4. Refocusing WorldSkills UK LIVE – the UK’s largest skills and careers event – to bring together employers, education, young people and parents – to provide more careers advice, workshops, masterclasses and hands-on support to equip over 70,000 attendees to plan for the future and develop more digital outreach so more young people from across the UK can benefit; and

5. Driving forward the ‘WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence’, a major new initiative with our partner NCFE to give access and insights into elite, world-class training methods to help some 40,000 young people across three years from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best possible quality training available to set them up for life.

Thank you to all our partners who are working hard with us to help shape a better future for more young people.

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