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WorldSkills UK - Increasing diversity in the pool of young people who are better prepared for success

Category: charity, diversity, Education Solutions, diverse, youth employment, charity and non-profit, diversity and equality, diversity in workplace, advisors, diverse talent, diversity and inclusion, Youth training scheme, diverse culture, Charity work, charity and volunteering, Education and Training, diversity goal, Underrepresentation, WorldSkills UK

Diversity and Inclusion

Young person wearing hijab at computer

If we can increase diversity in the pool of young people who are better prepared for success, we can give our employer partners more choice when recruiting, helping to create higher performing workplaces. To support this, we have brought together partners from across the skills system to form an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, developed in response to our Championing Difference for a Better Workforce’ research report with The Social Innovation Partnership.

Young person working in an engineering role

The group – made up of representatives from education, business, and young people – will help to increase engagement with our development programmes among underrepresented groups, enabling us to reach young people from all backgrounds and give them the best start in work and life.

Members will help us to address and remove barriers and challenges identified through the research, which prevent young people from accessing our development programmes.

Key priorities of the group

two girls at worldskills uk live


Engaging young people and enabling equity


young person public speaking


Growing awareness of the group’s mission and engaging more partners to drive positive change


Young person competing in Sheet Metalwork competition


Raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of good equity, diversity and inclusion practices


"We are ambitious to keep pushing for change, and we know that we can’t do it alone. This group will be a critical friend to support and challenge us to drive change.

We are driven by the knowledge that raising the bar and widening the gate are not mutually exclusive. Working with our partners we can help ensure that more young people get access to the benefits of our skills programmes and training to achieve higher standards to help them succeed in work and life.

The make-up of the group is also inclusive, including 50 per cent women, over a quarter who are BAME, members who identify as LGBT+ and have different faiths, and representation of learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, which means we can take a holistic but targeted approach with a bias to action to help drive further partnership working across the sector."

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO, WorldSkills UK

"I have seen first-hand how WorldSkills UK’s development programmes have transformed the technical skills and confidence of young people, which is why at NWSLC we encourage as many of our students to take part as possible. I’m excited to be working together with others across the sector, with the joint mission of reaching more young people from all backgrounds and helping to give them the skills needed to create stronger and brighter futures."

Marion Plant, Deputy Chair, WorldSkills UK, and CEO, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College


The group's members are

Photo of Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE

CEO, WorldSkills UK

Jo Maher

Principal, Loughborough College

Clare Howard

CEO, Natspec

Mandy-Jayne Evans

Senior Specialist, Young People Education, Toyota

Elizabeth Forkuoh

The Gleneagles Hotel

Jason Holt

CEO, Holts Group

Photo of Marion Plant

Marion Plant

CEO, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

Yvonne Kelly

Principal, Barking & Dagenham College

Sharon Blyfield CCEP

Sharon Blyfield

Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Susanna Lawson

CEO, OneFile

John Sweeney O’Hara

Senior Learner Engagement Officer, New College Lanarkshire

Jeff Greenidge

Director of Diversity for Association of Colleges & The Education and Training Foundation

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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WorldSkills UK

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