Blog article written by CDN College Awards 2023 Gold Sponsor – WorldSkills UK

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK

Scotland’s colleges are right to be proud of the achievements of their students and apprentices. In recent years, they have consistently delivered medal-winning performances both in the WorldSkills UK and WorldSkills Competitions.  At our recent National Finals this month, Scotland had two institutions, New College Lanarkshire and City of Glasgow College, in the top three of the UK’s best performing organisations. This is a fantastic result and congratulations to everyone involved for this outstanding achievement.

While it is essential that we properly celebrate their success, along with the commitment and skill of the teaching staff who deliver their training, we must also use it as a catalyst to ensure we keep pushing for world class training for all students whatever their level or skill.

This was the thinking behind the launch of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, in 2020.  Our Training Managers, many of whom work and trained at institutions in Scotland, shared a passion for passing on the knowledge they gained from their international WorldSkills peers.  In establishing our Centre of Excellence, we are successfully transferring the expertise that we and our Training Managers have built up over many years of international competition success to educators across Scotland.  This will help achieve world-class standards so often talked about and expected.

The programme has been so successful that we are now able to expand it to all colleges, universities and independent training providers.  This means we can deliver world-class skills to thousands of young people across Scotland, including in the growth sectors of digital, net-zero and advanced manufacturing.

Institutions that work with us will be able to access industry-led networks in priority skills areas to meet employer demand.  A global community for thought leadership will create stronger links between education and industry, to champion the demand for skills excellence.

Mona Nawaz

We want to work with educators to empower young people to access jobs and adapt to the demands of future labour markets.  Mona Nawaz, a former student at New College Lanarkshire and now a Building Information Modelling Coordinator at Balfour Beatty is a fantastic example of how this training can put young people on the path to great careers.  Mona highlighted that while training with us took her out of her comfort zone, it also gave her renewed confidence, new skills and the opportunities to meet with employers who were looking to recruit.  We want to ensure every young person in Scotland has these opportunities.

Scotland’s most recent international success was earlier this year when Michael McGuire, Training Manager for Digital Construction and lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, secured a gold medal at EuroSkills with his competitor.  Michael, along with the other Training Managers are now preparing for WorldSkills Lyon 2024.  We will share our learnings from the event, which will include the latest global industry standards with educators.  That is why we are asking every member of the CDN network to join the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence.  Working together, we can upskill more young people to reach the higher standards employers need to create more jobs and drive economic growth.

To join the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence for free click here.

Share This Story