WorldSkills UK LIVE cancelled again – but national skills competitions return


The country’s biggest skills and careers event has been cancelled for a second year – but national skills competitions are back.

WorldSkills UK LIVE, which takes place annually at the NEC in Birmingham, was called off last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The continued uncertainty around large scale events has meant it also cannot go ahead this year.

The event usually hosts the UK’s national finals for WorldSkills competitors, which were also cancelled last year.

The competition is however returning for 2021 and applications have opened today. Organiser WorldSkills UK said it is working with its partners to host the national finals in various locations throughout the UK.

Run in over 60 different skills ranging from digital, engineering, construction through to health, lifestyle and hospitality, winners can represent the UK at the international WorldSkills competition, known as the ‘skills Olympics’.

They take place every two years in cities around the world. WorldSkills UK is currently training a squad of apprentices and students to take part in WorldSkills Shanghai 2022.      


‘We want to recognise the importance and value of skilled work’

Dee Aylett-Smith, head of national competitions and careers at WorldSkills UK, said:  “We know that young people have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic and that is why we have relaunched our competitions-based development programme to support more young people develop the high-quality skills employers are looking for.

“By celebrating the talent, we have right across the UK, we want to recognise the importance and value of skilled work and encourage more young people to choose high-quality education and apprenticeships as routes to real success in work and life.”

She added: “The continued uncertainty around large scale events, combined with the lengthy timescales and planning that is required to host all of the National Finals in one venue, means we have had to take the difficult decision not to host WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC this year.

“Our online programme of careers advice will continue, and we are working with our partners to host the national finals at locations throughout the UK during November.”

WorldSkills UK plans to host a national celebration to honour all of the finalists later in the year.

Competitions are open for registration from 19 April to 14 May.

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