Skills Seminars

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. See below more information for the forthcoming seminars.

Seminars in 2019 When
The Future of TVET: Disruption and Development 5 – 7 March 2019
Seminars in 2018 When
The Northern Ireland Story: Building a quality TVET offer in a post-conflict society 16 - 18 October 2018

Read more about our previous seminars:

Seminars in 2017

Changing the perception of Vocational Education: Careers Advice and Guidance 

In November the British Council Skills Team welcomed delegates from around the world to Birmingham for our UK Policy Seminar: ‘Changing the perception of Vocational Education: Careers Advice and Guidance’. Over forty Senior Policy makers from Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Nigeria and Pakistan joined their counterparts from the UK to address this crucial issue and share best practice in improving the perception of vocational careers and attracting more learners into training.

The event was run in partnership with Education and Employers, a UK charity created in 2009 to ensure that every state school and college has an effective partnership with employers to support young people. As well as undertaking research into the impact and delivery of employer engagement in education, the charity manages innovative programmes to enable schools and colleges to connect efficiently and effectively with employers including Inspiring the Future. The charity works in close partnership with the leading national bodies representing education leaders, teaching staff and employers/employees. A key part of the first day was an insight into some of their research provided by Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel (Head of Research, Education and Employers) and colleagues.

The seminar also included contributions from the Department for Education, SEMTA, the Association of Colleges, Skills Development Scotland, Edge Foundation and the Careers and Enterprise Company.

The programme was designed to link skills policy and practice and included visits to Dudley College, West Midlands Construction University Technical College and a range of employers.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 alongside experiential careers advice for 80,000 visitors.

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 IMPORTANT IS ENTERPRISE TRAINING TO JOB CREATION? EMBEDDING ENTERPRISE IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

This seminar, held 7 - 9 March 2017 in Scotland, explored 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 addressed 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 were also incorporated within the event.

Seminars in 2016

IMPROVING EMPLOYER AND LEARNER ENGAGEMENT IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

On 15-17 November 2016 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.

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)