Tuesday 17 November 2015

Ministers from 23 countries will visit Birmingham this week to discuss key global challenges in vocational and professional education. 

Educational leaders from Bosnia to India will be arriving in Birmingham for a week of activities that will offer the opportunity to build partnerships and business links in the West Midlands area. The 120-strong delegation will visit local industry organisations to see the best of British skills training and apprenticeships.  

The programme will start on the 17th of November with the British Council’s Bringing the Learning Home conference, which will give a global picture of what is needed to train workforces and respond to labour needs. This will be followed in the evening by an awards ceremony that recognises and celebrates the best international skills collaborations between education organisations in the UK and abroad of the last year. On Wednesday 18th the delegates will also be making visits to both Dudley College and Wallsall College, and on Thursday and Friday will be visiting various employers around the area.

The British Council conference will feature workshops where leaders from countries such as Yemen showcase their successes and how they have worked with British institutions, ensuring quality around assessment and student experience. A partnership between Dudley College and Hoban Technical Institute, Yemen saw UK educational quality assurance methodologies implemented within the project and were then eventually rolled out nationally due to the success of this model.

A key issue for delegates will also be how they have had to overcome security issues whilst implementing these projects. Each international partnership will demonstrate how their work has benefitted students offering them the opportunity to join workforces around the world having the correct training and work ready knowledge to enter careers at the first stage in their life.

International delegates will also attend the Association of Colleges conference at the ICC, Birmingham and the Skills show that are both taking place in the same week. 

The British Council’s Head of Global Skills, Tracy Ferrier, said “Bringing together so many different countries and cultures to discuss global skills challenges will offer the opportunity for organisations to build exciting plans for international collaboration. With the recent visits of the leaders of China and India to the UK, it’s clear that it is more important than ever for the UK to build strong links abroad. By bringing together such a wide ranging delegation from around the world to Birmingham, we are demonstrating this week  how through international skills partnerships the UK and counterparts overseas can join together to tackle the key global issue of employability.” 


Notes to Editor

Tracy Ferrier, British Council global head of skills, is available for interview.

For more information please contact Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer, British Council on 0207389 4871

Countries represented at the British Council Bringing the Learning Home conference: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, UK, Uzbekistan, Yemen

The British Council has established over 100 International Skills Partnerships since 2009 between the UK and 33 other countries, over 21 industry sectors including tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, engineering, fashion and healthcare. Most partnerships take part in Middle East and North Africa, Vietnam, South Africa and China.

International skills partnerships are a grant-funded project that enables organisations from the UK and abroad to work together and develop new approaches to enhance the way their organisations operate. The partnerships bring together experienced organisations in the UK skills sector to develop and agreed project plan that support national skills policy priorities. The projects have been delivered in a diverse range of sectors from fashion to engineering. Successful projects have included the development of joint curricula, quality assurance methodologies and models of employer engagement. 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.