A skills competition provides an opportunity for individuals or teams to compete against one another to demonstrate their talent in a particular vocational skill, using tasks derived from real life, industry-based scenarios. Each individual’s work is scored by experts to an agreed criteria, and the highest score(s) go through to the next stage of the competition.

Taking part in competitions is proven to enhance a persons learning and development. The activity is linked to apprenticeship standards and designed to focus on capacity building in core skills and competencies valued by employers including team-work, problem solving, time management and working under pressure.

Young person competing in Butchery competition

There are four competition stages:

1. Local competitions

Young person competing in Plastering competition

Local competitions can take place at any time of the year, in any place and be organised and hosted by colleges, training providers or employers. There is no age restriction on who can take part and competitions can cover all levels and all skills.

This  activity is a great way to stimulate enthusiasm and interest for competitions. It provides a means by which anyone of any age and any ability can develop and test their skills. It is also an opportunity for employers and education providers to benchmark their skills against peer organisations

This stage can be a stand-alone activity, but some organisations use it as an opportunity to identify people to enter into WorldSkills UK competitions

WorldSkills UK can offer the following support to local competition activity:

  • test projects from previous year’s WorldSkills UK National Finals. These can be adapted to different levels but demonstrate the kind of projects which are given to competitors at the finals held each November
  • marking schemes from previous year’s WorldSkills UK National Finals. These can be adapted to local circumstances and different levels and show what judges are looking for. They will also reflect the standards that are required to compete at national level
  • resources on how to set up and run local competitions including how to make local competitions attractive to a wider audience such as parents and employers.

2. National Qualifiers

Young person competing in Automation competition

Competition Organising Partners (COPs) are contracted to deliver the WorldSkills UK National Qualifiers. Competitors can be entered via the Competition Management System, a link to which is on our website.

All competitors will be invited to participate in a ‘passive’ stage where they will be expected to prepare a submission for entry or participate in an online assessment .

If successful, invitations will be made to competitors from our organising partners to participate in a national qualifier.  Qualifiers can take place anywhere in the UK or remotely and our organising partners will do their best to allocate competitors appropriately.

The highest scorers from the National Qualifiers will be entered into the WorldSkills UK National Finals.

3. National Finals

Photo of WorldSkills UK winner in Restaurant Services

The National Finals provide an opportunity for young people to showcase their talents. Test projects for the finals are designed by the COPs along with industry partners to ensure they reflect the standards that employers are looking for.

Competitors who are age eligible and achieve the performance benchmark could be invited to join Squad UK and be on their way to represent the UK in International competitions, providing they have entered a skill that leads to WorldSkills.

4. International Competitions

Photo of Rebecca winning Gold in the Beauty Therapy Competition

Every two years an international competition is held between approximately 70 countries. Team UK will compete in up to 37 skill areas in the next international competition.

Every (alternate) two years a European competition is held (EuroSkills) between approximately 45 countries. Team UK will compete in up to 25 skill areas in the next EuroSkills.

Photo of WorldSkills UK participants

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Learn more about our competitions and consider entering one.

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