Education giant Pearson has been announced as the official partner of Team UK for WorldSkills Lyon, taking place this September.
WorldSkills UK said the partnership will provide a boost to their efforts to improve standards of technical education and apprenticeships in the UK learning from global best practices seen at international skills competitions.
The news marks the first official Team UK partnership for 13 years. It last partnered with City & Guilds, Edge Foundation and charity Brathay for WorldSkills London in 2011.
Leaders said that training insights gleaned from other countries will be shared with colleges, training providers, coaches and employers in an effort to “set new benchmarks of excellence” in the UK.
WorldSkills UK will also tap into Pearson’s reach in the FE sector to send Team UK members and WorldSkills UK ambassadors to events to showcase their talents and inspire young people “from all backgrounds” into apprenticeships and technical education.
Ben Blackledge, chief executive of WorldSkills UK said: “We are delighted that Pearson has chosen to partner with us to support Team UK on their journey to WorldSkills Lyon 2024.
“WorldSkills UK and Pearson share a passion for technical education, and we will be working together over the next 12 months to showcase the world-class skills that exist in the UK and to emphasise the importance of technical education for investment, jobs and growth right across the country.”
Freya Thomas Monk, managing director of vocational skills and training at Pearson, said: “Pearson shares many goals with WorldSkills UK – celebrating the best of vocational and technical education, raising awareness and the prestige of the sector and supporting young people to set new benchmarks of excellence in their chosen fields. We’re thrilled to be supporting Team UK for WorldSkills Lyon 2024.”
Squad UK picked for two more skills
WorldSkills UK has also selected eight young people to join Squad UK for the renewable energy and additive manufacturing competitions for this year’s global competition.
This comes as the UK makes its debut in the two competitions at WorldSkills Lyon this September.
Members of Squad UK will be picked to join Team UK this May, who will go on to compete in Lyon. The event will see 1,500 young people from over 65 countries compete in 62 different technical skill disciplines.
In renewable energy, Danny McBean is one of the four competitors selected for Squad UK – selected at an event at the South Yorkshire Institute of Technology (IOT). He won gold in electrical installation at the WorldSkills UK National Finals last year. He attended UHI Moray and works for Grants Dufftown.
McBean said: “It is fantastic to have secured a place in Squad UK, after winning the gold medal last year. I feel really proud to be part of the group in training with the hope of winning a place to represent the UK in renewable energy, it certainly feels like we are leading the way in such an important sector.”
The three other competitors for renewable energy are Madeline Warburton from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Harry Stewart from Glasgow Clyde College and Thomas Turner from JTL.
Christopher Turnbull, who works at Didactic Services, has been appointed WorldSkills UK training manager for renewable energy.
At the first renewable energy competition at the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022, competitors were assessed on the operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of wind turbines.
Meanwhile, competitors in the additive manufacturing skill – also known as 3D printing – are tested on their understanding of 3D printing and scanning, along with geometry, and computer aided design and engineering.
The Squad UK members for the additive manufacturing competitions are Oscar McNaughton from University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Eva Voma from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Jakub Strzelczyk from MTC and Lucas Langley from UTC Sheffield.
At a selection event at Coleg Menai’s Energy Centre, Voma, who earned bronze in the WorldSkills UK National Final last year, said: “The tasks at the selection event were definitely a step up from the previous level and challenged us. It revealed where I am strong and where I need sharpening. During the selection event, we were definitely being prepared for what the international stage is like – even the sounds and distractions were simulated for us during the competition.”
Bryn Jones and Iwan Robets, lectures at Coleg Menai, have been appointed WorldSkills UK training managers for additive manufacturing.
FE Week is the official media partner for Team UK.