WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence

Stockport College has been announced as the first College in Greater Manchester to partner with WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence!

What is it?

The Centre of Excellence, the first of its kind to be launched in the UK, will draw on WorldSkills UK’s unique insights into global skills systems and utilise NCFE’s expertise in curriculum development to mainstream excellence in skills development. WorldSkills UK hopes that more young people, from all backgrounds, will be inspired to take up apprenticeships and technical education as a prestige route to success.

Partnered with NCFE, a leading provider of educational services and a not for profit organisation. NCFE have a strong heritage in learning and have been at the forefront of technical and vocational education for over 170 years. They design, develop and certify diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards, which have contributed to the success of millions of learners at all levels, bringing them closer to fulfilling their personal goals.

With over 50 applications representing a quarter of Further Education colleges across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who applied to be part of the Centre of Excellence, Stockport College was chosen to be the first and only in Greater Manchester!

Hear from Award Winner Joan Scott, Assistant Principal

"Knowing first-hand what a difference they make, you never forget the experience of competing in skills competitions whilst studying, and the benefits they have on your own personal development. WorldSkills UK is a unique competition that helps young people to excel, realise their full potential and be recognised in national and international level!

With the range of skills areas open for competition, students studying Construction, Engineering, Technology, Digital, Creative, Health, Hospitality and Hair & Beauty courses all have the opportunity to showcase their talents and develop faster in their training and careers. The level of skills of expertise involved in these competitions is so inspirational and motivating to see, as students have the opportunity to compete in the Greater Manchester Colleges Group annual competition, which then feed into the national WorldSkills UK competitions, and in turn the international skills competitions held across the globe, previously being hosted in Abu Dhabi and Budapest!

Competition can provide students and apprentices with increased confidence and career aspiration and give them a springboard for transition in their careers. Not only are these competitions benefit for the students, but they promote advance technical learning so that teaching quality, staff, student and apprentice performance can be raised. It is not uncommon that employers recruit young people purely on the grounds that they have been involved in WorldSkills UK competitions as they are impressed by the dedication, commitment, resilience and skills needed to compete at such a prestigious level.

This is a really exciting time at the College, having just been successful in becoming a WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence. We will be working closely with a network of 20 colleges across the UK, using unique insights into global skills systems to mainstream excellence in skills development. The national Centre of Excellence programme will focus on higher standards in apprenticeships and technical education which can help create jobs, fuel productivity and encourage overseas investment. We’re delighted to be a part of this exciting project and thrilled to be the first college in Greater Manchester to be successful".

Joan Scott, Assistant Principal

What does it mean?

"College is about skills, not just qualifications".

Stockport College will be coached and mentored to embed world-class practises and techniques in their teaching, learning and assessment practices.

The work will be led by WorldSkills UK High-Performance Skills Coaches, who are all experienced WorldSkills UK Training Managers. The report ‘Good People in a flawed system: the challenges of mainstreaming excellence in technical education’, concluded that through its network of Training Managers and access to international best practise, WorldSkills UK is uniquely positioned to inform UK skills systems. They will capture learnings from international competitions and use these to coach and mentor educators at Trafford College who will pass this knowledge on to their students, ensuring they perform to international high standards of excellence in their skills.

College principal and CEO, James Scott commented, “The Trafford College Group is thrilled to have been selected as the only WorldSkills Centre of Excellence in Greater Manchester.

“We are passionate about delivering excellence in our training and teaching programmes so that students can achieve their full potential. In partnership with WorldSkills UK and NCFE we will further enhance our teaching and curriculum innovation so that we can provide our learners with world-class skills and opportunities, delivered by elite performance coaches, so they can succeed in their chosen careers.”