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19 March 2011

Change at UK Skills

Simon Bartley speaking at a UK Skills event

On February 1, 2011, the duties and staff of UK Skills transferred to the Skills Funding Agency. This included the responsibility for both Team UK (the UK’s team that competes at international skills competitions), and WorldSkills UK (the UK’s local, regional and national skills competition network).

This represents a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the synergies existing between the two organisations, and to embed the aspirations of excellence and success, by mainstreaming competitions across the further education and skills sector.

The Skills Funding Agency also houses the National Apprenticeship Service and these two bodies, with the newly incorporated UK Skills, will use their influence as the funder of adult further education. The organisation will be responsible for all apprentices to exert even greater leverage to drive up standards of learning and skills provision. They will work to meet the levels of international benchmarks, as well as raising the status and value of vocational skills by celebrating the success of individuals who participate in skills competitions; therefore attracting more learners into vocational education and careers.

As a result of the transfer, and in preparation for his taking on the role as WorldSkills International’s President in October, Simon Bartley has stepped down as Chief Executive of UK Skills, whilst remaining the UK’s Official Delegate to WorldSkills and WorldSkills Europe, serving on the Boards of both and remaining on the Board of WorldSkills London 2011.

Simon says ‘the mainstreaming of competitions across the whole of further education and the skills sector is something that UK Skills has been striving to do for many years and this transfer is something that will bring this dream closer to reality. In addition it gives me the great opportunity to carry on my work with WorldSkills London 2011, WorldSkills International and WorldSkills Europe whilst preparing to take on the most exciting role of my life – that of President of WorldSkills International.’