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Consultation responses

Our consultation responses ensure that young people’s voices are listened to by the Government and other public authorities. We are at a crucial time in the development of policy relating to apprenticeships and technical skills; these consultation responses capture our latest thinking. 

WorldSkills UK responses

  • Education Select Committee Apprenticeships and Skills Training Inquiry: WorldSkills UK Response

    1 WorldSkills UK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into the quality of apprenticeships and skills training. WorldSkills UK is all about helping young people go further, faster in their careers; helping them gain the skills that employers need most. Through skills competitions and experiential careers advice we aim to help young people from all backgrounds get the best start in both work and life. Our extensive interaction with young people, schools, colleges, independent training providers and businesses places us at the centre of the debate on how to ensure policies are developed to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people.

    1.1 The Government’s increasing focus on apprenticeships and technical education has been a positive development. Apprenticeships offer young people excellent opportunities to build greater expertise in their chosen careers and learn skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives. The Government’s target of 3m apprenticeship starts is an important one and is often the focus of debate about the trade-off between quantity and quality.

    1.2 There is nothing to suggest that the Government is looking to achieve 3m apprenticeships at the expense of quality. WorldSkills UK believes that it will be possible to deliver the increased numbers at the same time as ensuring quality. The Institute for Apprenticeships has an important role in guaranteeing the quality of apprenticeship starts. We welcome its establishment as a body that can provide objective assessment of the Government’s apprenticeships policy and reliable data that will allow stakeholders to judge its effectiveness. It is vitally important that as the volume of apprenticeships starts increases in the years ahead, the quality of apprentices’ learning experiences follows the highest possible standards.

    Therefore, in this response we set out our thinking on how:

    • Achieving world-class apprenticeships and technical skills training starts with world-class careers advice;
    • Embedding WorldSkills standards could support world-class apprenticeships; and
    • Learning from major businesses already working in partnership with WorldSkills UK could help deliver higher quality apprenticeships.

    December 2017

    Download the full response

  • West Midlands Combined Authority Productivity and Skills Commission Call for Evidence: WorldSkills UK Response

    With the recent election of the West Midlands Mayor, the region is well placed to tackle the productivity and skills challenges it faces. Under the leadership of the Mayor and the Combined Authority, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work with business, education and key local agencies to transform the West Midlands for the benefit of its young people. As the Commission recognise, this is a region with great potential but one that has not been maximised in previous years. There is now an added urgency to ensure that transformation happens. Devolution of powers to regions such as Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region are happening alongside the West Midlands’ own development of its new structure of government. Each of these regions have key strengths and the race is on to be the number one UK destination outside London. The West Midlands must ensure it wins this race. Brexit too makes the need for higher productivity and a broad and deep skills base essential. The Government’s Industrial Strategy places an onus on regions like the West Midlands to make significant contributions to widening the pool of home-grown skills which will be necessary for a Global Britain to compete in markets on every continent.

    WorldSkills UK is proud of its well established and enduring relationship with the West Midlands. Birmingham hosted the WorldSkills International Competition in 1989, fully 20 years before London had the honour in 2011. After WorldSkills London 2011, a British legacy to the competition was created. That legacy was The Skills Show. The Show has been held at the NEC every year since 2012 and it is now unarguably the number one skills and careers event in the UK, attracting over 70,000 visitors every November. The Skills Show is going to be an important ally in helping the region transform the productivity and skills of its people – specifically its young people – as we look ahead into the 2020s. It’s why WorldSkills UK takes such a strong interest in contributing to the Commission’s work and is committed to seeing it be a success.

    In this response we set out how we believe WorldSkills UK can support delivery of improved productivity and skills in the West Midlands through:

    • Extending the reach of experiential careers advice and The Skills Show
    • Developing world-class standards in technical education and showcasing the region internationally

    May 2017

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  • Consultation on the Industrial Strategy: WorldSkills UK Response

    1 WorldSkills UK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government’s consultation on its Industrial Strategy. WorldSkills UK is all about helping young people go further, faster in their careers; helping them gain the skills that employers need most. Through skills competitions and experiential careers advice we aim to help young people from all backgrounds get the best start in both work and life. Our extensive interaction with young people, schools, colleges, independent training providers and businesses places us at the centre of the debate on how to ensure policies are developed to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people.

    1.1 We believe this is the right time for the Government to be developing an industrial strategy and welcome the joined up approach in the Green Paper between future economic need, improved careers advice and technical education for young people. A post-Brexit UK will need to ensure that its skills base has the depth and quality to compete globally, attract inward investment and boost trade. The only way we will get there is by ensuring our young people have the training and career opportunities they need to become the productive workforce of the future.

    1.2 One of the key determinants of the Industrial Strategy’s success will be our ability to ensure high quality home-grown skills. We are supportive of the Government’s current approach and proposals. The increasing focus on apprenticeships has been a positive development. Apprenticeships offer young people excellent opportunities to build greater expertise in their chosen careers and learn skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives. Similarly, the Sainsbury Review and Skills Plan for England place a new focus on technical education and offer clear routes for young people around which to build career decisions. The establishment of Institutes of Technology (IOT) in England will also help to encourage more young people to develop the skills the economy needs most: within the higher levels of STEM subjects.

    1.3 In this response we set out how we believe WorldSkills UK can support delivery of a successful Industrial Strategy, including by:

    • Boosting experiential careers advice to help all young people achieve their potential
    • Developing world-class standards in STEM and technical education through skills competitions
    • Leveraging our unique international-to-local platform to showcase the best of UK skills

    April 2017

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  • Draft Strategic Guidance for the Institute for Apprenticeships: WorldSkills UK Response

    1 WorldSkills UK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government’s consultation for the Draft Strategic Guidance for the Institute for Apprenticeships. WorldSkills UK is all about helping young people go further, faster in their careers; helping them gain the skills that employers need most. Through competitions and careers advice we aim to help young people from all backgrounds get the best start in both work and life. Our extensive interaction with young people, schools, colleges, independent training providers and businesses places us at the centre of the debate on how to ensure apprenticeships policy is developed to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people.

    1.1 The Government’s commitment to apprenticeships – through for instance the target to have 3m apprenticeship starts in the lifetime of this Parliament, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy later this year and the establishment of the Institute for Apprenticeships – has been a positive and welcome development. Apprenticeships offer young people excellent opportunities to build greater expertise in their chosen careers and learn skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives. WorldSkills UK believes that there are two key areas to focus on that will help ensure that apprenticeships policy achieves the results that everyone wants to see. The first is with respect to driving demand for apprenticeships. There is a long-term challenge around the apprenticeship route not being viewed as prestigious as the university route by both young people and parents. These perceptions can be changed by ensuring that investment is properly targeted in careers advice and programmes that give young people the opportunity to experience the world of work and apprenticeships. Further, it is vitally important that as the volume of apprenticeships starts increases in the years ahead, the quality of apprentices’ learning experiences follows the highest possible standards. World-class standards should be the aspiration to match the Government’s focus on Global Britain as the nation embarks on the journey of exiting the European Union. In this response we set out how:

    • WorldSkills UK strongly supports the establishment of the Institute for Apprenticeships and looks forward to working together
    • Our Skills Champions have a key role to play in the Institute’s development
    • WorldSkills UK expertise in quality and standards can ensure the Institute hits its targets

    January 2017

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  • Public Accounts Committee Apprenticeships Inquiry: WorldSkills UK Response

    1. WorldSkills UK welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into apprenticeships. WorldSkills UK is the UK’s high performance skills body. We champion world-class standards and are an accelerator for young people. We power aspiration through skills competitions and experiential careers events. Our extensive interaction with young people, schools, colleges, independent training providers and businesses places us at the centre of the debate on how to ensure apprenticeships policy is developed to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people.

    1.1 The Government’s increasing focus on apprenticeships has been a positive development. Apprenticeships offer young people excellent opportunities to build greater expertise in their chosen careers and learn skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives. WorldSkills UK believes that there are two key areas to focus on that will help ensure that apprenticeships policy achieves the results that everyone wants to see. The first is with respect to driving demand for apprenticeships. There is a long-term challenge around the apprenticeship route not being viewed as attractive as the university route by both young people and parents. These perceptions can be changed by ensuring that investment is properly targeted in careers advice and programmes that give young people the opportunity to experience the world of work and apprenticeships. Further, it is vitally important that as the volume of apprenticeships starts increases in the years ahead, the quality of apprentices’ learning experiences follows the highest possible standards. In this response we set out how:

    • WorldSkills UK, through WorldSkills UK Competitions, The Skills Show and Skills Champions, is fundamental to driving demand for apprenticeships and promoting social mobility
    • WorldSkills UK strongly supports the Government’s target to achieve 3m apprenticeship starts in the lifetime of this parliament
    • We welcome the apprenticeship levy as a sensible solution to the funding of apprenticeships and support the establishment of the Institute for Apprenticeships
    • High quality apprenticeships can be delivered by using WorldSkills UK Competition standards

    September 2016

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  • Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy Careers Advice Inquiry: Find a Future Response

    1. Find a Future welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy’s inquiry into careers advice. Find a Future is the organisation that brings together The Skills Show – the nation’s largest skills and careers event – and WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions – showcasing our best apprentices and vocational learners to national and international audiences. Our extensive interaction with young people, schools and colleges and businesses places us at the centre of the debate on how to ensure careers advice is properly structured to deliver the best possible outcomes for young people.

    1.1 In particular, we believe that our experiential model – built on the principle that the best way of learning is by doing – offers significant advantages for young people. Through ‘have a go’ activities at The Skills Show (and other local skills shows), young people can find out about the careers that best match their interests and abilities interactively. Skills competitions provide further opportunities to develop the characteristics and qualities that will be essential for a wide range of careers. Find a Future would like to see this experiential model becoming increasingly integrated into schools’ and colleges’ approaches to careers advice. In this response we set out that:

    • Experiential careers advice can help young people achieve their potential
    • Schools and colleges should strengthen partnership working with business
    • A national careers strategy combined with dynamic local approaches is needed
    • Successful young people acting as role models can help drive-up apprenticeship starts
    • Employers and young people benefit from working together

    January 2016

    Download the full response

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