Greater Manchester Colleges Group (GMCG) has seen an unprecedented number of students register for WorldSkills UK Competitions, increasing 201% on last years’ entries.
The Greater Manchester Colleges Group (GMCG) Annual Skills Competitions were held in March, they provided students with the opportunity to showcase the technical skills they have learnt across 10 specialisms including Art & Design, STEM, Construction, Sports, Hospitality and Hair & Beauty. These competitions provide not only an opportunity to develop technical excellence, but also personal attributes such as team work and resilience, as well as employability skills.
A catalyst for this growth is the focus on technical excellence and the annual skills competitions held by GMCG.
During the event over 700 Greater Manchester students took part in activities that tested the practical skills they have been learning during their time at college. Many of the students have now been entered for the WorldSkills competitions and will now compete against colleges from across the UK in regional and national heats. Last year saw 13 students from the group’s nine Greater Manchester colleges compete in the national finals, winning 8 medals, 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze. GMCG is hoping to increase that number at this year’s event.
This year has seen huge growth in WorldSkills Uk registrations across the North West. The region now takes the top spot in the UK, as the area with the highest number of learners registered at 1472, which is 800 more than in 2021. The North West has surpassed Wales, who are very proactive, with huge amounts of competition activity and medal success.
Trafford College Group Skills Specialist, Joan Scott said “These competitions give our learners in the North West the opportunity to develop high quality technical skills, which will ensure they have the skills required by regional and national employers in the future. We are thrilled that there has been an unprecedented number of students entered and wish them luck at the regional World Skills UK competitions in June.”
WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said: “Taking part in a WorldSkills UK competition can be a life-changing experience and we are delighted to have received record numbers of registrations this year. It is fantastic to see how GM colleges have embraced the impact of competitions and how this has resulted in huge increase in registrations across the whole region.”
All nine Further Education colleges in Greater Manchester are part of the Greater Manchester Colleges Group including Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, Oldham College, Tameside College, The Manchester College, Trafford College Group, Salford City College Group and Wigan & Leigh College.
GMCG represents the colleges, collectively delivering learning to 70,000 students, supporting them to meet the needs of the employers and the GM workforce, current and future, in key growth and employment sectors with training at all levels and ages from entry to postgraduate.