The University of Manchester

University of Manchester and Greater Manchester host finals of UK’s biggest skill competition

The UK’s top students and apprentices will be going for gold in Greater Manchester this November after the region was chosen to host the prestigious WorldSkills UK National Finals.


Greater Manchester, including The University of Manchester will play host to over 50 finals with 500 competitors from all over the UK, competing on 14th -17th November 2023.


Competitions run across all skills including aircraft maintenance, landscaping, cooking, jewellery design, to Laboratory Technician, and Renewable Energy competitions; hosted by the University of Manchester.


The University’s involvement has spanned several years since its early stages supporting the setup of the Laboratory skill competition. Since then, staff and apprentices have supported regional competitors from across the UK, Ireland, and Scotland, with  University of Manchester apprentices receiving silver in Laboratory and Electronics competitions at national level.


This year the Technical Apprenticeship Programme and colleagues across region’s technical community are joining forces to host the Laboratory Technician Competition taking place in the MECD Makerspace. The team are working hard to turn the collaborative working space into a functioning laboratory area to showcase some of the UK’s top science skills. The top performing competitor will take their skills to the next level competing at World level.


The celebration of world-class skills will culminate in the announcement of the winners at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday 17 November at The Bridgewater Hall.


The news of the finals being held in Greater Manchester came a week after Mayor Andy Burnham launched proposals for a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate (MBacc) to improve access to technical education courses in the region. 


WorldSkills UK Interim CEO Ben Blackledge said: “We are delighted to be bringing the National Finals to Greater Manchester this autumn. With 50 finals spread over nine venues there will be something for everyone.


“As well as boosting young people’s personal skills and developing the skills that employers and the economy needs, events like the WorldSkills UK National Finals shine a light on the vital importance of high quality skills to the UK and the vast

 talent and potential we have in the next generation.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The WorldSkills UK competitions are a brilliant way for students and apprentices to develop their skills and push themselves to be the very best they can.


“We are working hard in Greater Manchester to create opportunities for young people to develop high-level technical skills. WorldSkills UK along with the idea of a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate for technical education are helping us achieve our ambitious plans to ensure young people in the city-region are given the tools they need to achieve their career aspirations.


“We are all really excited that we will be welcoming students and apprentices from across the UK to showcase the very best of their skills and inspire young people in the region.”


The competitions are a seven-month process including regional heats and intensive training before stepping up to the ultimate test of the National Finals in November. Young people are full of praise for the competitions with the vast majority (97%) of previous entrants saying taking part improved their technical skills and 93% saying they improved their personal and employability skills.

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