Responding to today’s (6 March) budget, Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK, said: 

“The Chancellor is right to focus on building a high wage, high skill economy as the best way to deliver growth in jobs, productivity and investment in all parts of the UK and greater prosperity for our communities. 

Through our access to global best practice in skills development and ability to benchmark the UK skills against our leading competitors in Europe, America and Asia, we see again and again how vital it is that high quality skills and the FE sector are put at the centre of any ambition to drive growth and investment.  

“At WorldSkills UK we are using this international knowledge to support the Chancellor’s priority sectors through our Centre of Excellence programme in partnership with NCFE to make sure that advanced manufacturing, net zero and digital firms have access to the pipeline of talent they need to thrive. We will also soon be publishing new research on how WorldSkills’s UK world-class programmes can support the screen industries – bolstering the Chancellor’s aim for the UK to be second only to Hollywood for film production next year. 

With independent research showing that young people involved in our competition programmes can earn on average 60% more than those who don’t take part we are confident that our programmes ‘make work pay’ and with Team UK in partnership with Pearson heading to WorldSkills Lyon in September this year we will be even better placed to help deliver a world-class skills economy and look forward to working with all our partners across the UK to make this happen.”

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