Solihull to receive world class skills boost

23rd September 2021

The West Midlands is set to get a world-class skills boost after Solihull College & University Centre was selected to join an elite training programme.

The College is one of 12 leading institutions (colleges and Independent Training Providers) to have been selected to join the skills revolution by becoming part of WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence.

The Centre of Excellence – partnered and funded by educational charity and awarding body NCFE – will see more than 40,000 young students and apprentices, from all socio-economic groups across the UK, armed with world-class skills.

The Centre aims to supercharge the quality and delivery of technical and vocational training by transferring world-class expertise and knowledge to help develop educators and learners.

Solihull is one of 12 institutions entering the Centre this year to join the first wave of 20 colleges selected last September, when the three-year pilot project was launched.

Educators at the colleges and training providers will receive exclusive train the trainer sessions and 60 hours of intensive continual professional development.

The College has become part of WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence.
The College has become part of WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence.

In its recent Skills for Jobs White Paper for England, the Government cited the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, as a prime example of how it wanted organisations with the relevant expertise to provide high-quality training and development for teaching staff.

Vice Principal Quality & Curriculum at the College, Rebecca Gater, said: “The programme will not only benefit our learners as demonstrating excellence in skills will secure their future employment but will also support employers to increase productivity and quality which will be fantastic for the UK economy. We have a very talented workforce in the College, and the 5 educators we have selected for the programme will no doubt do a fabulous job at disseminating their learning to their peers.”

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “In order to deliver the world-class skills that employers demand to be internationally competitive, we need to invest in the educators that are training young people for the future.

“The Centre of Excellence is a radical new way of bringing global best practice to local economies. Mainstreaming excellence in training standards and delivering it directly to tens of thousands of young students and apprentices at their places of learning is key to levelling up the economy and attracting inward investment.

“This new phase of the project means that we are now supporting young people the length and breadth of the UK.”

The programme covers three strands:

  • train the trainer modules
  • harnessing of international industry best practice through current preparation for WorldSkills Shanghai 2022
  • influencing setters of training standards

The effectiveness of the programme will be tested by measuring impact on learners, educators and institutions in order to continually develop and innovate. This level of insight will help the organisations involved to develop a programme which will give more young people, irrespective of background, better work and life opportunities, and help boost economic productivity.

The three-year partnership deal is the single largest investment ever made by the NCFE Group.