As competition at WorldSkills 2015 gets into full swing in Brazil, the Association for Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has urged independent learning providers (ILPs) to get more involved in future competitions.
Chief executive Stewart Segal gave a run-down of what WorldSkills is and why it is “important” that more ILPs give their learners the chance to compete, in the weekly AELP bulletin sent out to members.
It was issued the morning after around 1,200 flag-bearing competitors took part in the parade of nations at the spectacular WorldSkills opening ceremony, at a venue around four miles from where competitions have now begun at Anhembi Park, Sao Paulo.
His encouragement was welcomed by WorldSkills UK and Skills Show organising body Find a Future.
Mr Segal said: “The commitment of the young people involved in WorldSkills is fantastic and this event provides a great opportunity to promote apprenticeships and work based learning.”
He added: “As the focus on skills continues in the UK it is really important that training providers encourage their trainees to take part in skills competitions.
“We are working with Find a Future to encourage more training providers to get more involved in running the competitions, encouraging their employers to get involved and most importantly to use the competitions and Skills Shows as a way of demonstrating the high level of skills that their apprentices can achieve through effective work based training programmes.”
Mr Segal also paid tribute to current WorldSkills competitors who have come from ILPs.
They include auto technology competitor Elijah Sumner, aged 20, from Cardiff, Wales, who is training with Provq, in Shrewsbury, and car painting competitor Rebecca Wilson, from County Down in Northern Ireland, 22, who trained at Riverpark Training in Antrim.
He said: “For some of our competitors it is the culmination of a long period of training and commitment.”
He added: “We wish them every success this week.”
Carole Stott, chair of Find a Future, echoed Mr Segal’s comments.
She said: “I would urge training providers of all sizes to investigate the opportunities which involvement in skills competitions provide, either for skilled members of staff or as a partner organising the actual competitions. The benefits are there for the taking for all.”
She added: “Our research has shown skills competitions bring benefits for both the individual and for their employers, with increased productivity and profitability for business, as well as better job satisfaction, a more motivated workforce and a greater range of skills being passed on to staff as a result of competition training.
“The young people currently competing in São Paulo are great examples of how skills competitions can have positive effects on both individuals and businesses.”
FE Week will be in Brazil with Team UK throughout WorldSkills which closes on Sunday (August 16) and you can follow all the action at Feweek.co.uk and @FEWeek.