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North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College is due to be represented as part of a global debate on training the future workforce at an international skills conference in Russia this summer.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of the NWSLC college group and the Midland Academies Trust will speak at the WorldSkills Conference, due to be held in Kazan, Russia on 23-24 August. The conference, which will welcome 1,200 participants from around the world, including industry leaders, policy makers, education and training providers, researchers, and changemakers, enables ideas and trends in technical and professional training to be discussed against the backdrop of future skills demands.

As part of the ‘Skills for Change’ conference theme, Marion will join panellists from the International Labour Organisation and the Youth for Technology Foundation to discuss how the world can train an agile generation of skilled young people for the future and help them to make sure that their skills will remain relevant in the face of economic, social and technological transformation.

Marion said, “The pace of change and developments in technology, including AI and machine learning, will bring fast-paced changes to the employment market to the extent that it is impossible to predict all the jobs of the future. We need to think about how training will change and how we can properly support our teachers and trainers to adapt to the demands of this new world.

“Teaching will need to focus even more on stimulating creativity and innovation to equip young people with the skills to solve some of the problems facing the modern world from sustainability and transport, to disease and hunger. Teachers will increasingly be required to create the conditions in which young people can be curious and use their imaginations to explore ideas that expand horizons and generate new ideas.

“I am looking forward to contributing to the debate which will set the scene for a broader development agenda and influence the priorities set by the UN Agenda 2030, as well as the Youth Declaration on the future of skills and technical education.”

Delegates at the WorldSkills Conference will represent more than 65 countries and will be joined by more than 600 participants from Russia who have been identified as changemakers across the country.

The conference takes place as part of the bi-annual WorldSkills competition which attracts more than 1,600 competitors. At this event, young people from all corners of the globe gather together for the chance to win a prestigious medal in their chosen skill. Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from skills competitions that are held in WorldSkills Member countries and regions.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has a strong record of success within WorldSkills competitions and 21 of its students are due to compete in the national WorldSkills UK LIVE event at the NEC in Birmingham in November for a chance to compete at WorldSkills 2021 in Shanghai.