On display: world class skills, world class science

On display: world class skills, world class science

Prospect, the union for over 34,000 engineering and science specialists in government and the private sector says it is proud to have organised the first ever union-led competition at WorldSkills London 2011 event this week at the ExCel Centre in London.

Prospect has worked with a range of partners, including members at the British Geological Survey, and supported by WorldSkills UK, to devise an Environmental Science competition.

Five teams from the UK and one from the Netherlands will have to: design a sustainable energy solution for an island community; build a renewable energy generator and present a report to judges justifying their solution and winning over members of the local community.

The WorldSkills event is an exciting shop window for young talent to demonstrate their skills and dedication to solving tomorrow’s problems.Prospect’s head of research, Sue Ferns said: “It is a great opportunity for young people to show prospective employers that they represent the future of engineering and science.”

Principal sponsors of the environmental science competition are the Tec Trust Fund and the National Skills Academy for Power. The competition is also supported by BGS, Semta, Unionlearn, EAL, Green Collar Academy, Summit Skills, NNL and Energy Solutions.

Jacqui Henderson, Trustee of the Tec Trust Fund (TTF) said: “Having sponsored the very first Science Skills Competition, TTF is delighted to see the way it has progressed; having the opportunity to showcase it at WorldSkills London 2011 alongside other prestigious skills competitions is wonderful.

Science, Maths, Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology skills are now recognised as essential to the future wellbeing of the UK economy and what better place to demonstrate our commitment to them than here in London at the International WorldSkills Competition.”

Steve Davies, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Power said: “The Power Sector is facing increasingly critical skills issues, which if not addressed now will have a dramatic impact on the electricity supply in the UK and the government’s energy and low carbon strategies.

"We already know as a result of primary research that the power sector attracts people because it offers job security, personal development, the opportunity to work as a team, as well as the chance to contribute to the future energy challenge.

"World Skills gives us the opportunity to make young people more aware of the exciting career opportunities available in the power sector."

Tom Wilson, director of unionlearn said: “I would like to welcome the young competitors from all 53 countries taking part this week. This fantastic event is a great way to showcase and to reward young people for their vocational skills.

“It is an opportunity to recognise that excelling in making things and doing things is just as valuable as academic ability. That is why unionlearn supports quality apprenticeships in the workplace. Evidence shows that where unions and employers work together they can develop the skills of their staff in order to compete in a competitive global market.

We are also supporting the development of technologies and green skills. That is why we are in partnership with Prospect union in a bid to have the Environmental Science competition as part of WorldSkills in Leipzig. I wish the UK competitors all the best.”

Note:The environmental science competition will take place in Hall N9 at the Excel Centre from October 5-8. Winners will be announced at 1pm on October 8. Throughout the competition there will be opportunities for visitors of all ages to Have a Go at various practical environmental activities.

Sponsors and supporters:British Geological Survey (BGS) is part of the Natural Environment research Council; Sector Skills Council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies (Semta); Tec Trust Fund TTF is a small charitable trust fund established to further the pursuit of skills excellence in the UK; Unionlearn is the TUC body for the provision of learning development for working people; EAL is the specialist, employer-recognised awarding organisation for the engineering, manufacturing, building services and related sectors; Green Collar Academy creates lean and green jobs to meet the needs of employers; Summit Skills is the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering; National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is a nuclear technology services provider and Energy Solutions promotes the sustainable use of energy, WorldSkills UK is a portfolio of skills competition activity managed by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with organisations from industry and education.

Run in around 50 skills ranging from Environmental Science to Mobile Robotics and Landscape Gardening, WorldSkills UK National Competitions challenge talented people from across the UK to compete against each other to be crowned the best of the best. Managed by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with organisations from industry and education. The competitions are open to those in education and training or who have completed training within the last 12 months.

WorldSkills UK competitions raise participation, esteem and standards in apprenticeships and vocational training by providing apprentices, learners and employees with the opportunity to build confidence and knowledge, helping them to progress and motivating them to achieve success in the workplace.