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Being able to quantify our work as a financial return has helped us to attract more funders and investment.
— Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, WorldSkills UK CEO

Transforming youth skills into a more prosperous UK

The benefits of WorldSkills reach far past personal accomplishments, competition prizes, and individual progress. When we invest in youth skills, we all benefit financially.

Seeking to put a figure on the impact of upskilling the next generation of technically adept young people on the UK’s industry and economy, WorldSkills UK commissioned microeconomics experts Frontier Economics to quantify the contribution and value of its training.

Findings released over 2021 and 2022 tell a tale of ever-increasing returns. The research demonstrates that training tomorrow’s leaders could pay back more than four-fold, representing as much as a £4.50 return on every £1 of investment made by the Department for Education.

  • £1 invested in youth skills could return £4.50 to the UK economy
  • WorldSkills Competitors report earnings 60% higher than their peers

Source: Frontier Economics for WorldSkills UK

Technically skilled young people enjoy a greater financial return on their time, energy, and passion, finding themselves more employable, and more valuable to businesses. Those with the highest levels of technical prowess can earn on average £14,000 more than their less-skilled peers. Compared to the average earnings of their peers in the UK, self-reported earnings from WorldSkills Competitors between 2011 and 2018 were 60% higher.

This data indicates the economic potential of the WorldSkills movement in the UK. And it has also motivated our investment in a broader programme around a Centre of Excellence which is designed to help teachers raise standards of skills for any young person thinking about developing technical or vocational skills.
— Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, WorldSkills UK CEO

Between 2017 and 2023, over 1,000,000 youth participants engaged with WorldSkills UK, either through competition-based training, careers inspiration activities, or educational content. The result? A motivated cohort of young people across the country, ready to enter the workforce with greater earning potential and big ambitions. In turn, this feeds back into the wider economy, with increased contributions in future earnings, and home-grown innovation promoting UK industry growth.