A visit to a UK skills show is having far-reaching benefits for a group of Indian students and their employers.
The Skills Show is the UK’s largest skills and careers advice show, attracting around 75,000 visitors each year. Organised by WorldSkills, the show is all about inspiring young people to consider vocational training. Central to the show are the skills competitions, which give young people the chance to showcase their skills.
For the 2015 show, the British Council India and the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), the Indian government organisation that promotes skills and improves employment prospects for young people in India, came together to enable a group of Indian students to take part in the skills competitions for the first time ever. The two organisations joined together to provide a platform for Indian students with vocational skills to come to the UK to learn from industry experts, to forge contacts and to showcase their skills in a competitive environment.
The Indian students represented two important vocational sectors at the 2015 show: ‘gems and jewellery’ and ‘beauty and wellness’. The British Council, along with the National Skill Development Corporation and the respective Sector Skills Councils (Gem and Jewellery Skills Council of India and Beauty and Wellness Sector Skills Council) supported by the Confederation of Indian Industries, held regional heats across seven Indian cities. From these, six winners were selected to be sponsored and supported by the British Council to attend the show. “Skill India is one of the Indian government’s top priorities and rightly so. The relationship between the UK and India in the sector tends to focus on developing skills, but there is also a need to create a demand for skills. Skills competitions are an excellent means of rewarding and recognising talent and reaching out to a wide audience. The Skills Show is a great exemplar from the UK and is in tune with many similar efforts at the state level in India and led by the central government”- Leighton Ernsberger, Assistant Director-Skills, British Council, India.
When students learn from people in different cultures, they learn new ways of doing things. Although a big part of The Skills Show is the competition, actually what I witnessed is a great deal of co-operation and the sharing of knowledge and experience.”
(Parag Vyas, gems and jewellery expert)
Participating in the show, and competing against some of the most talented young people in the UK and the other 20 participating countries, had important benefits for the Indian students. The students' employers have already reported an improvement in their confidence and the quality of their work.
For the young people themselves, the long-term impact of exposure to new skills and techniques is likely to be better employment prospects and the chance to earn a higher salary.
And the benefits of participating extend beyond the students and their employers. For educators and industry experts the show provides fantastic opportunities to network and share with overseas counterparts. For participating countries it is a way to introduce proven skills and experience from overseas which can broaden the scope of key industries and drive up standards.
Learn more about the Indian students' experience of The Skills Show 2015 and the far-reaching benefits in the downloads section below.