#TeamUK hit the streets of #Kazan today to show why they are proud to take part in the ‘skills Olympics’ Make sure you don’t miss out. Catch all the action here and show your support https://t.co/M6dQw9k87k pic.twitter.com/fv0dumWwZP
We are out here at the Skills Olympics with Team UK, 37 young women and men who are the best our country has to offer across a range of technical skill disciplines incorporating everything from aircraft maintenance, carpentry, cloud computing, electrical installation, mechanical engineering and many others!
Whether you want to be a games designer, a cyber security expert, a plumber, cook, mechanical engineer or landscape gardener there is a competition for you and you could be, in a few years’ time, following in the footsteps of the 37 young people out here in Russia right now.
Whatever your GCSE results, you can fulfil your potential through an apprenticeship or a technical skills qualification – and you have the unique opportunity to represent your country with us at the same time.
I’d encourage everyone to follow the extensive coverage we’ll be providing from Kazan over the next few days, including online and for the first time this year on Sky TV. This is a huge, global event, and the Team UK of tomorrow will be drawn from the GCSE students of today.
And if that wasn’t enough, in November we hold the UK’s biggest and best careers and skills event – WorldSkills UK LIVE – at the NEC in Birmingham. Here you can see the national finals of 50 different skills competitions, speak to members of Team UK and with a host of major employers to get a sense of what they are looking for from young people entering the workplace.
Their answers may come as a surprise. I know at this time of year much focus is put on the relative virtues of whether GCSE students should be thinking about moving onto A-levels or apprenticeships and technical qualifications. And I’m all too equally aware that historically much of the focus has been on encouraging young people to aim for university as the best route for getting a good job in the future.
Members of Team UK, many with excellent GCSE results themselves, tell me how they felt they were pushed towards the university route even though their passion was for the technical skills they’re now competing in this week.
Instead, they prioritised attributes such as:
Great inter-personal skills (72%)
Lots of ambition (68%), and
Relevant work experience (49%)
These are all characteristics shared by members of Team UK – and they are the kinds of traits that can be developed through getting involved in our skills competitions.
Whether it’s GCSE students getting their results today or Team UK waiting to see whether they’ve medalled after the competitions end next Tuesday, I think we should all take time to praise our young people for the hard work they put in year-round.
I hope many of you will join us in cheering on Team UK from afar and as you do, picture yourselves following in their footsteps in just a few years’ time.
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