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26 January 2024

Introducing the WorldSkills Global Research Council

This new council within WorldSkills will advise and shape research on the impact, value, and return of developing skills excellence.

Research is a critical component of WorldSkills strategic objectives, offering insights into the global impact of the WorldSkills movement. Previous initiatives include a large-scale research project with the OECD, the Youth Voice for the Future of Work, which was launched during the WorldSkills Conference 2019 in Kazan, Russia.

With the pandemic, the research agenda was forced to pause, explains Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann, Chair of the WorldSkills Research Council and WorldSkills Honorary Member and CEO of Whitehall & Industry Group, but the pandemic also made it clear that WorldSkills Members needed more data and information on the implications of global trends and the impact of skills development.

The goal of the WorldSkills Global Research Council is to help develop and disseminate data and research on the impact of WorldSkills at various levels, as well as encourage Members to develop more research that can influence policies and investment by both the public and private sectors.

“We needed to have a focal point within WorldSkills to bring partners together to decide on a structured agenda around capturing data and evidence on the back end of our Competitions,” says Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann. “Which means all the work that goes on all year round on training methodologies, pedagogy, training trainers, meeting employers needs, engaging with governments on policy standards… All of that work needs to be documented and demonstrated evidence about the impact of WorldSkills.”

At WorldSkills General Assembly 2023 in Dublin progress was made to define the scope of the WorldSkills Global Research Council. Since then, the Council has started to develop a research agenda that looks at how the impact of WorldSkills can be maximized as the catalyst for system change. An online resource for research from Members and partners has also been established and will continue to be updated.

The group is currently made up of representatives from:

  • World Bank,
  • ILO,
  • OECD,
  • Oxford University,
  • Adelaide University, and
  • ibw Austria - Research & Development in VET.

To advise on and shape the WorldSkills research agenda, and help develop this independent research on the impact, value, and return from developing skills excellence, the Council will:

  • Monitor the changing global world of work, its demands and impact on VET, and the implications for WorldSkills International and its Members and Partners;
  • Maximize the use of the experience and expertise of WorldSkills and its Members to contribute to policy and practice in skills development to boost employment and skills economy development, and
  • Contribute to the impact of WorldSkills activities through action research that is credible and valuable for Members, governments, business, young people, and education partners.

Find out more about the WorldSkills Global Research Council.