Plans to replace this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE with a virtual event, including talks from the likes of Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, have been announced.

WorldSkills UK LIVE, which is the country’s biggest skills and careers event usually held at Birmingham’s NEC, was cancelled earlier this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet will now run online across November.

It will consist of “careers guidance, thought-leadership activity and the celebration of diverse, inspirational role models”. 

WorldSkills UK’s deputy chief executive Ben Blackledge said the ‘LIVE online’ event is part of their commitment to digitise their offering and “will enable us to support more and more young people to achieve higher standards”.

The event is also “part of our ambition to lead the way in inspiring and developing world-class skills and tackle vocational snobbery head on,” Blackledge continued. 

“We want to help create more prestige for apprenticeships and technical qualifications to boost career aspirations as we know that highly-skilled, motivated young people will be crucial to the economic recovery of the UK.” 

Taking place from 11 to 12 November, LIVE online will kick off with an international skills summit on a bespoke video platforming service that is yet to be named. WorldSkills UK said the summit will bring together leaders in industry and education to “explore how global standards of excellence can be mainstreamed in skills policy and practice across the UK to engage young people in apprenticeships and technical education”.

Speakers at the summit will include the acting president of WorldSkills Chris Humphries, NCFE chief executive David Gallagher, Association of Colleges international director Emma Meredith, and the managing director of FE Week’s publisher Lsect, Shane Mann. 

LIVE online will then feature Spotlight Talks on Careers, Apprenticeships and Excellence, being run in partnership with aerospace company BAE Systems and held on the Learn Live platform, between 26 and 28 November.

Celebrity baker Nadiya Hussain and technology YouTuber Grant Hinds have signed up to deliver talks, as have organisations such as BAE, the Royal Navy, and the army. 

WorldSkills UK has not held skills competitions this year due to the pandemic, but also announced today they are now planning to start next year’s cycle of competitions on 18 January, with the National Finals set to be held at next year’s LIVE event.

To register for LIVE online, visit

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