Skills policy seminars and study tours

Our skills policy seminars bring together experts and policy makers from around the world to build on learning from the UK and explore important global priorities for skills and employability.

The seminars are a unique opportunity for learning, discussion and networking as well as gaining first-hand experience through visits to leading institutions and organisations. Designed to promote understanding of innovative approaches to technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and raise awareness of the global TVET picture, they are a great catalyst for UK-overseas collaboration.

The seminar themes are chosen to meet the priorities of our global network. In 2016 we have invited international delegates including government officials, policy makers, employers, donor agency representatives and senior level practitioners to join us in discussing the following topics:

Seminars in 2016


On 15-17 November the British Council hosted a three-day policy dialogue in Birmingham that brought together delegations of senior policy makers from over 15 countries to showcase the UK’s approach to skills delivery and discuss important global priorities for skills and employability. The event introduced delegates to the main components of the UK vocational education and training system and explored such key issues as employer engagement, quality assurance, apprenticeships and inclusion. 

The programme was designed to link skills policy and practice and included visits to Warwickshire College, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Balfour Beatty and Doosan Babcock, and independent training providers Babington Group and EEF Technology Hub. One of the highlights of the programme was the visit to the Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which enabled the delegates to see the very best of young talent showcasing their professional and technical skills.

The delegates also had a great opportunity to hear from some of the UK leading experts in the skills sector, including from representatives of the Association of Colleges, Education Scotland and the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards. 

The event is one of the series of policy dialogues and study tours for international delegates organised by the British Council every year. Designed to promote understanding of innovative approaches to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and raise awareness of the global TVET picture, they have proven a great catalyst for UK-overseas collaboration and kick-started a number of excellent initiatives both at home and abroad.

How do we fund and shape vocational education and training for the 21 Century? 

The event took place on 31 May - 2 June 2016 in London and addressed the key strategic issues in creating a skilled workforce which contribute to economic growth. Themes such as funding, oversight, flexibility and planning for the future were also discussed.

The seminar, whilst being led by the British Council, was intended to be interactive and included opportunities for delegates to share their own experiences and challenges as well as be able to hear from UK contributors.

Seminars in 2017

How important is enterprise training to job creation? Embedding enterprise in technical and vocational education

When:  7 - 9 March 2017

Where:  Scotland

This seminar will explore the differing approaches to entrepreneurship training within the wider skills agenda by drawing on the expertise and varied perspectives of entrepreneurs, government officials and representatives from the education sector.

The event will address key issues, including:

  • Should enterprise training be included within or additional to technical training? 
  • The part played by mentoring
  • Means of reaching disadvantaged groups
  • The roles of different stakeholders
  • Equipping learners with the skills needed for the 21st century

Visits to Scottish colleges, innovation hubs and businesses will also be incorporated into the event.

Study tours

Study tours provide an opportunity to experience UK best practice and innovation in TVET. They are organised in conjunction with our British Council country offices and provide an insight to the UK skills sector linked to the priorities of the delegates.

What our delegates say

"A unique opportunity to share best practices. It was a great effort on the part of the British Council." (Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, Government of Punjab, Pakistan)

"The field visits were relevant and allowed for comparison with what is being implemented in Trinidad and Tobago." (Balchan Ramberran, National Training Agency, Trinidad and Tobago)

"Enhance new project possibilities with the British Council and new partnerships." (Patricia Arenas, Secretary of Education, Colombia)