Commenting on the Autumn Statement (Wednesday 22 November), Ben Blackledge, our Chief Executive, said:  

“WorldSkills UK welcomes the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today and its focus on the commitment to increase apprenticeships in key sectors such as engineering that are held back by skills shortages.  

“We know from benchmarking against other leading economies such as South Korea and France that the development of world-class skills is vital for the international competitiveness of our leading sectors, to help create high quality, high wage jobs for the next generation. 

“Research commissioned by WorldSkills UK shows that fewer than three in five young people in the UK would consider a career in manufacturing, while well over half of manufacturing employers are experiencing a skills shortage.  

“That’s why WorldSkills UK is already pioneering world-class skills in areas such as additive manufacturing, industry 4.0 and industrial robotics, to demonstrate that skills in advanced manufacturing can lead to prestigious and well-paid jobs. 

“We look forward to working with educators, independent training providers and employers on the Government’s new long-term sector strategies, by making sure young people have internationally competitive skills that can attract inward investment and boost productivity for employers, across all sectors, in all parts of the UK.”

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