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To acquire the skills that Global Britain needs, nothing short of excellence will do

Team UK at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 opening ceremony (stadium shot) | Credit: WorldSkills UK

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive | World Skills UK

4 min read Partner content

WorldSkills UK is equipping the next generation with the skills required to compete on the global stage. WorldSkills UK’s International Summit is at the forefront of the action.

Skills development in this country is at a critical juncture. We know that young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with many having their education and training unavoidably disrupted at a time when they should be thinking abut their career direction. Yet, critical to rebuilding the UK economy will be highly skilled, motivated young women and men. 

That is why, we must set a new level of ambition, with our sights on excellence as the standard young students and apprentices should expect from their technical education and training. This will enable them to develop the skills to help them and the economy succeed now and in the future.

The government’s recent ‘Skills for Jobs’ White paper for England quite rightly placed focus on driving up the quality of teaching and training to better prepare the next generation, including supporting our Centre of Excellence programme which is designed to help drive up teaching standards to world-class levels. This is vital as we look towards a skills-led recovery.  Our work on international skills benchmarking shows that the UK has to up its game, when compared with other major global economies, in valuing high quality skills to help drive economic competitiveness and productivity. 

At WorldSkills UK, we believe that, with the right skills set and mindset, the next generation can help drive the country forward.

WorldSkills UK represents the UK skills systems in WorldSkills, a global movement of over 80 countries, including other leading global economies. This international network is second to none in the world of technical and vocational education and training. Its membership, supported by governments across the world, represents two-thirds of the global population. It  champions the development of young people across the world through competitions-based training methods, with members putting forward national teams to test their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial global competition known as the “skills olympics”.  The next competition is due to be held in Shanghai in 2022.

The medals we win and the insights we gain from training Team UK to compete at a world-class level provides WorldSkills UK with unique insights into international best practice.  We  are now mainstreaming this knowledge into teaching practice through our partner networks to help raise standards for young people and employers across the UK.

To talk more about how this and how our work can help rebuild the economy, we are bringing together our champions from industry, education and government at our International Skills Summit, which will be broadcast live from Dudley College of Technology on 19 May. Joining us to discuss the skills required for economic growth will be Shadow Secretary of State for Education Kate Green OBE MP. 

We will hear from Mark Gregory, Chief Economist at EY about the demand for high quality skills from international investors, with our colleagues from the international WorldSkills network in Singapore and France providing insight into the technical education and landscape in their countries. Oxford University will also provide insights on international trends. 

To help meet demand for a highly skilled workforce to attract inward investment and back job creation in advanced manufacturing and clean tech to support developments in electric cars, offshore wind and digital across the UK, we will also be joined by our sponsor NCFE, the National Grid and the Energy Skills Partnership for a discussion on the role of skills excellence in delivering net zero carbon. 

At WorldSkills UK, we believe that, with the right skills set and mindset, the next generation can help drive the country forward. We hope you can join us at our International Skills Summit to share your thoughts and help us deliver the national skills upgrade we need to help the economy better compete globally for the prosperity of all.

To attend the WorldSkills UK International Skills Summit please register for free at

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Read the most recent article written by Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive - If the Government’s levelling up agenda is to be realised - we must develop, deliver and promote world-class skills


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