WorldSkills UK on show in Salford

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

The University of Salford, alongside its partners from the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology (GMIoT), will play host to a major skills competition for young people next month.

Students from across the country will be aiming for gold in Greater Manchester after the region was chosen to host the national finals of the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition. The event aims to promote the value of vocational and technical skills with young people from schools and colleges across the UK.

The University will host four UK finals in its brand-new state of the art Science and Engineering building. The fours finals are; additive manufacturing (Supported by Shining 3D and Ultimaker), automation (Supported by Omron), industry 4.0 (Supported by Festo) and

WorldSkills UK competitions are designed by industry experts and develop participants’ technical and employability skills, including building resilience, self-confidence and communications skills.

The finalists from this year’s National Finals could be invited to join the WorldSkills UK International Development Programme for the WorldSkills Competition in 2026, taking place in Shanghai, China.

Paul Ward, Director of International and Regional Development at the University of Salford said: “I look forward to welcoming the finalists to the University and I hope our campus and facilities will inspire the students during the competitions.

“Encouraging young people to learn essential vocational and technical skills is something we see as one of our key priorities at Salford. We are very employer focussed and our aim is to produce graduates who are industry ready and equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to realise their full potential, something that fits very well with WorldSkills UK’ aims and objectives.”

Claire Foreman, Director of Greater Manchester Institute of Technology, said: “We are delighted to be part of the team hosting the WorldSkills UK finals in Manchester celebrating the talent and skills of young people in these essential vocational & technical skills. 

“Greater Manchester Institute of Technology is dedicated to ensuring that young people have a wide choice of high quality, employment focused higher technical qualifications that equip them to take the increasing number of technical roles emerging in our thriving city economy.  The competition taking place here in Manchester encourages the ambition of all technical students in the region and we are hoping that in future years the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology students who have started their studies this academic year will be among the ranks of these talented young people.”

The competitions at Salford will focus on all the essential requirements for a successful career in the relevant area.  Additive Manufacturing competitors will be tested on their performance using innovative skills to prototype and produce 3D models and products.

Automation will test logic, design and fault-finding skills related to automation. Industry 4.0 is the concept of revolutionising modern factories using a range of new and emerging technologies such as Autonomous Robotics, Big Data, Augmented Reality, Cybersecurity, and others.

Mechatronics includes mechanics, pneumatics, electronically controlled systems, programming, and robotics and systems development. As well as factory assembly lines, mechatronics is used in everything from bottling machines to supermarket cash till and belt assemblies.

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said:

“I offer my congratulations to all of the National Finalists.  We know our competition-based training programmes deliver real value and benefits to the young person taking part, but the programmes also provide opportunity for the development of their educators and trainers in delivering training that meets the latest industry standards.

“The young people that take part in our national programme are a true inspiration and demonstrate the skills we have in the UK. As well as giving them the chance to shine we will be sharing their career journeys and success stories, so we can inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to see that an apprenticeship or technical education is a first-class route to success in work and life.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said:

“Congratulations and best of luck to all of the apprentices and students competing in the national finals this year and showcasing their exceptional talents in a diverse range of skill disciplines, from manufacturing and engineering to health and social care.

“WorldSkills UK not only provides an unparalleled opportunity to hone your skills and climb the ladder of opportunity towards a better and brighter future, but it is also a chance to celebrate and champion vocational courses and the further education sector.”

WorldSkills UK will take place from Nov 15-16 on the University of Salford campus.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.