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For Training Managers, coaches and wider training network

When will EuroSkills take place?

WorldSkills Europe and the EuroSkills Graz 2020 Organising Committee have made the decision to postpone EuroSkills Graz 2020 to 2021 in light of the current restrictions in place.  The event will now take place from 6 to 10 January 2021.

The decision to postpone EuroSkills 2020 to January 2021 was taken based on the following considerations:

  1. To safeguard the health of all involved and to contribute to the containment of COVID-19.
  2. To safeguard the interests of the competitors, training teams, experts, delegates, and of the WorldSkills Europe movement.
  3. The availability of the Competition venue (Messe Congress Graz) and taking into consideration the WorldSkills Europe and WorldSkills International calendars.

The new dates for EuroSkills give the health authorities, the Austrian Federal Ministry, the Government of the Province of Styria, the City of Graz, and all involved in the organisation of the event the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID–19 pandemic.

Will the design of test projects, assessment and marking guides take into consideration limited preparation time for members and restrictions on materials/tools that can be procured to support training and development of countries teams? 

The statistical average and the distribution of marks across all the competitors within a skill in the CIS dictates the performance positioning of the competitors despite how easy or difficult the test project might be. The ability to train or not to train a competitor within a member country remains outside of the control of WSE regardless of the current circumstances. However, additional Health & Safety may need to be embedded into the skills if social distancing remains in place or additional PPE is required to be worn. 

What will the timeline be for the release of confirmed TDs for all skills? 

The information on all TDs is available on the WorldSkills Europe website. Please visit the Member Area → Downloads → Technical Descriptions.

What will happen if not enough countries are able to participate in a skill competition? 

Competition with 5 competitors or teams can proceed but only one medal (the gold) will be issued. Competitions with less than 5 competitors or teams are subject to cancellation. They may proceed in some presentation form at the discretion of the host country, but they will not be official WSE skills competitions. 

Have all forum issues been resolved, providing experts and team leaders with full access? 

All forum issues have been resolved. Experts (including Chiefs- and Deputy Chiefs), Team Leaders, Technical Delegates (Assistants), Workshop Managers, Sector Managers now have access. If an Expert is having issues with entering the forum, please email competitions@worldskillsuk.org

What is the exact timeline concerning preparations for the competition, e.g. deadline of publication of information about test projects? 

Most Technical Description outline the Test project distribution times which is normally stated in “C ± days/months“ notations (i.e. C-3 months). The date for distribution and key milestones are therefore the same but now uses the new EuroSkills Graz start date of 6 January 2022 as the baseline. 

When will the new transportation schedule be published? 

The Organising Committee is currently working with DHL to update the DHL transport plans and are aiming to provide WSE Members with an update at the end of May/beginning of June. 

What are the new dates for toolbox logistics, especially the timeline for toolbox delivery to the competition site? 

Toolbox delivery is planned from 14 to 22 December 2020. 

Will Medallions of Excellence awards be included in the Closing Ceremony? 

Medallions of Excellence will be included in the Closing Ceremony. They will not be called on stage, but a slide with the names of all the competitors who got a Medallion in each skill will be displayed when the result for the skill is announced. 

Are there any approximate timelines on Opening/Closing Ceremony tickets? 

Tickets for Opening/Closing Ceremony tickets can be ordered from 15 July via our ticket booking system. Member Support will keep WSE Members informed about contingencies and procedures for ordering tickets and provide additional information when booking lines open. 

Further information will be available on the EuroSkills 2020 website on 15 July. 

What about Opening/Closing Ceremonies? As there will be thousands of people, some team members might not want to take part in the ceremonies. 

The safety of all competitors and all our guests during the competition and all side events remains the primary objective throughout EuroSkills 2020. 

The Organising Committee is in close contact with governmental authorities and is closely monitoring the situation. Any mandatory restrictions in place at the date of EuroSkills 2020 (maximum number of people allowed for indoor events, minimum distances, provision of disinfectants, etc.) will be followed and fully implemented at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Could you please confirm the travel details for Member Countries?

Arrival of Technical Delegates and Chief Experts - 3 January 2021
Arrival of Experts - 4 January 2021
Arrival of Competitors, Team Leaders and Official Observers - 5 January 2021
Departure of all groups - 11 January 2021

What does this mean for my skill and selection process?

We will be in touch with further information, once we have agreed how we (UK) wish to proceed with Training Managers affected by this change.

How are you going to support us if we are in a high-risk category?

We kindly ask that if any TMs, ATMs or PWT classify themselves in a high-risk category; over 70 years of age, pregnant or underlying health issue – please make contact with Chris or Zoe. We will ask you to provide us with more detail so we can put a plan in place to support you. We will be in touch with TMs with details of Squad members in this category to support your planning. We would also ask that you inform us of any illness so we can look at providing support for you.

We have training activity scheduled and booked within the next few months – what do we do?

We are taking extra precautionary measures to safeguard all participants involved in the WSUK Talent Development Programme. All face to face training activity will be suspended until the end of August. We have recorded all activity planned by you over the next 12 months and will continue working with you to explore alternative arrangements for remote delivery where it is practical and safe to do so. 

I have a pressure test booked in Europe, what do I do?

All international travel is suspended until further notice. We ask you to not book any international activity as part of Phase 4 pressure testing/ training. We will work with our Operations Team to recover costs of any activity already booked.

Is the bootcamp and TDM still taking place, if not, what is WorldSkills UK going to do?

We are postponing the TDMs and Bootcamps scheduled to take place in April and June 2020. These events are being converted to a programme of virtual conferences and webinars and you will receive a schedule of the activities. We are reviewing the government guidance on a daily basis and assessing the risk of any events scheduled from September 2020 onwards.

Will the suspension of face to face training be reviewed if government guidance changes?

We are monitoring government guidance on a daily basis and will be agile in our response. If sanctions are relaxed, we will aim to reinstate face to face activity as soon as it is safe to do so.

Will Training Managers be given access to the WorldSkills UK Zoom account?

We have introduced 2 additional Zoom accounts to facilitate the increased volume of remote delivery and will share details with training teams: please contact Chris or Zoe for details.

Can we order training materials and equipment to be couriered to competitors?

We will work with you on skill by skill basis to determine the options for remote training and any assets or consumables required. As the Expert for your skill, we will need you to advise us on how this will work best for your squad and we will support you to plan accordingly. Our procurement team will also continue to lead on the procurement of equipment for Phase 4. It is important to ensure fair access to training materials for all squad members and to provide ample notice of the training, to allow for current delays with suppliers.

Can we use expert trainers?

Absolutely. We are hearing of innovative responses across the industries we work with every day, if organisations or individuals are able to deliver essential training remotely then please include this in your revised Phase 4 Training Plan.

What health and safety guidance should we share with competitors who are training independently?

In the first instance, we would recommend that you follow  – HSA guidance. We would ask you to exercise caution in setting tasks and take time to establish whether the equipment and environment that your competitor is using is safe and appropriate. Please complete a risk assessment for any ‘high risk’ activity and contact our Safeguarding Lead (Chris Herron) if you have any questions at all before sharing the task brief.

What can we do if we cannot carry out any technical training due to the complexities of our skill?

We are in an unprecedented situation and recognise that every skill is different. Please contact us to talk through the options. A number of Training Managers from our community have also offered to lend their expertise, in particular from the Digital Skills. You may be able to tap into industry-based resources and focus on how to introduce some theory and the WSS/ TD as a starting point.

Will we be able ‘back-end’ the training planned between now and June later in the year?

Where possible we will look to reschedule practical training sessions to make up for the time lost, however, we appreciate that there may be limitations to Training Manager and squad availability later in the year. We would encourage you to continue planning for the entirety of Phase 4 and make us aware of any challenges that may arise as we progress.

How can WSUK support us to find alternative training venues if colleges remain closed until September?

We are aware that many Training Managers rely on facilities provided by colleges and will have limited access for the foreseeable future. We will be monitoring the situation closely and will work with you to identify suitable alternatives using our networks as and when we are in a position to start scheduling face to face training for Phase 4.

Can I invoice WSUK for planning and delivery of remote training?

We would expect all Training Managers to invoice for planning and delivery of remote training in the same way that you would for face to face activity. For audit purposes, we would ask for complete clarity around which planning days relate to which activities or outcomes on the Phase 4 Training Programme.

What advice can WSUK offer on working remotely with team skills in particular?

We understand that there is a particular challenge for team skills both in progressing practically with the training programme and in building rapport between competitors. We will be seeking guidance from our Coaches on how best to proceed. In the meantime, we would ask you to encourage regular communication both on a 1:1 basis with competitors and also amongst the wider squad. There are a number of systems available to facilitate this e.g. guild, google classrooms.

Can we still access equipment from Agility Storage?

We are currently in discussion with our Operations Team and will confirm whether there is access to this equipment as soon as possible.

My training activity was booked and paid for (travel, hotels, equipment & consumables) will I be able to reclaim the money back into my training budget?

We will explore this on a case by case basis and work with you to attempt to recoup any lost funds, but cannot guarantee we will be successful.

Will any additional funding be available to support remote training?

There will be no change to allocated Phase 4 budgets, therefore all remote training events will need to be detailed and accounted for in your Phase 4 Budget Tracker on Dropbox. Any concerns should be raised with us as soon as possible. Underspend as a result of changes to the frequency or nature or training can be reallocated for use at a later date in Phase 4 i.e. before the end of March 2021.

Can any savings from Phase 4 be carried over into Phase 5?

The allocated Phase 4 budget must be used within the same financial year. Savings cannot be carried over into Phase 5.

How will we be expected to accurately assess our competitors remotely?

We appreciate that the ability to provide detailed assessment and feedback will vary by skill. We would encourage Training Managers to take this time to ensure that competitors are familiar with the technical descriptions and WSI mark schemes in readiness for their future training. We would ask you to be creative and asses using alternative methods e.g. photos and video, where possible.

What will the impact be on the requirement for regular milestone assessments in Phase 4?

We understand that Phase 4 plans have been significantly disrupted by the inability to train with squad face to face, however, the need to provide regular assessment and feedback is still key to the success of the programme. We will work with you to map out appropriate milestones for your skill when we have greater clarity over the coming months.

How can we utilise the expertise of the Coaches in the Performance and Wellbeing Team?

The Coaches have already started to develop materials and webinars to support competitors in the continuation of the WorldSkills UK Talent Development programme and with their general wellbeing. We will be in touch over the coming weeks with further information for Training Managers.

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