Skills Minister, John Hayes, calls on schools, colleges and businesses to create a million learning opportunities across the UK.
At a key event for UK skills development Skills Minister John Hayes yesterday gave his backing to a campaign created for the Wordskills London 2011 competition.
The campaign is urging education bodies and employers to support skills mobility and development in the UK by organising ‘Have A Go’ events that showcase the range of skills used, day-in and day-out in their organisations. Local people, whatever their work or educational background are encouraged to attend the events and see for themselves the diversity of opportunity for training and development across industries and job roles.
The Have A Go initiative is unprecedented in its scale with over a million events targeted. The initiative has been launched as part of the countdown to this year’s WorldSkills London Competition. Worldskills is the world’s largest skills competition, and the UK is hosting the celebration of international talent in October this year after beating competitors including Australia and Sweden in their bids to host the prestigious event. It will be the first time the UK has hosted the event (held every two years) since 1965.
The ‘Have A Go’ programme provides an important opportunity for businesses to introduce a new generation of young adults to the possibilities of a career within their sector, strengthening the future prospects of the nation’s industries and driving sustainable growth.
Speaking at yesterday’s event, which was hosted at London’s City Hall, John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning said: “Practical skills are as important as academic qualifications. Britain’s success will depend on our ability to create a new generation of world class craftsmen, designers and technicians.”
“Have a Go is an excellent opportunity for people from all walks of life to be inspired by the possibilities of vocational education.”
As government skills strategy brings its support squarely behind education routes which give real work experience and align to economic needs the promotion of skills awareness and available opportunities for applying key skills has also become a priority. The Have A Go programme will allow companies to play an active role in the promotion of their industry and their individual work environment.
Aidan Jones, Executive Director of WorldSkills London 2011 believes that Have a Go will help create a lasting legacy for skills in the UK: “WorldSkills London 2011 Have a Go is an important opportunity for the UK’s schools, colleges and businesses to engage future generations of skilled workers. Our goal is to inspire people across the UK to explore the endless possibilities that skills have to offer by giving them a first-hand opportunity to try something new. We will create one million Have a Go opportunities across the UK, and are calling on educational institutions and businesses to come on board and help the public be a part of the world’s greatest skills competition and careers event later this year.”
Yesterday’s launch event was augmented by the demonstration of remote-controlled, ‘AirPenguins’ from automation technology company Festo. Attendees at the launch tried their hands at controlling the robots.
Among those to experiment with the controls were two hopeful Worldskills competitors from Middlesex University who will represent the UK team in the World Skills Mobile Robotics category. This category forms part of the sector competition for Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies. Worldskills will award 45 medals to winners across seven sectors including:
•Health, Public Services and Care
•Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
•Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
•Information and Communications Technology
•Retail and Commercial Enterprise
•Arts, Media and Publishing
To find out more about the Worldskills competition and the Have A Go programme visit: www.worldskillslondon2011.com.