WorldSkills UK rolls out Centre of Excellence after three-year pilot

UK further and higher education organisations can now access ‘world-class’ teacher training and networks through the scheme

UK further and higher education organisations can now access ‘world-class’ teacher training and networks through the scheme

WorldSkills UK is opening its Centre of Excellence programme to all UK colleges, training providers and higher education institutions for the first time.

This follows a three-year pilot of the programme, which WorldSkills UK developed in partnership with awarding body NCFE, which involved 46 colleges and two independent training providers.

WorldSkills UK said that more than 140,000 young people and nearly 5,000 educators can now access support and development opportunities through the programme for a further three-year period.

Members of the Centre of Excellence will have access to free “world-class” teacher training, a community for thought leadership to influence policy and practice, and a hub for innovation known as the Network for Innovation. 

Membership is free.

WorldSkills UK interim chief executive Ben Blackledge said the programme “is already delivering results for educators and young people, inspiring learners at all abilities to achieve their own level of excellence.”

“We want to build on that success and ensure we are delivering for employers too.  That is why this next stage of the Centre of Excellence will have a strong focus on innovation, creating opportunities for business and education to come together to achieve the shared ambition of a truly world-class technical education system. 

“In key growth sectors covering digital, net zero and advanced manufacturing, these networks will support the development and delivery of skills specific, industry-led and internationally benchmarked training. Providing the sector access to insights and learning from across the global WorldSkills network.”

The programme was piloted to 48 organisations over the last three years. Two of those were ITPs, while the rest were FE colleges (see list below). Those 48 organisations will remain registered to the programme as it rolls out to a wider audience.

Organisations interested in the project can register here.

NCFE chief executive David Gallagher said the two organisations are “committed to helping to create a fairer and more inclusive society through the delivery of exceptional technical education.”

“If we are to achieve this, we believe that our educators need greater access to world-class teacher training, interactive networks, and international insights.  That’s how we can unlock their potential, so they are able to then deliver the highest quality education and training to our workforce of the future.”

Software company Autodesk and the Skills and Education Group are now also funding the Centre for Excellence alongside NCFE.

Scott Forbes, a chief operating officer at the Skills and Education Group, said: “In order to achieve a world-class skills system and to ensure our students are industry-ready – armed with the technical know-how employers need – we must invest in our teachers.

“We are therefore delighted to be championing the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence as it enters its next phase.”

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