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Photograph of a student from The Manchester College preparing a drink in a restaurant bar.

The Manchester College delighted to host finals of UK’s biggest skills competition

Staff and students at The Manchester College are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the prestigious WorldSkills UK National Finals later in the year after being asked to host 17 competitions at the College’s brand-new state-of-the-art City Campus Manchester.

The UK’s top students and apprentices will be going for gold in Greater Manchester this autumn after the region was chosen to host the WorldSkills UK National Finals.

Alongside the College eight other college, university and private training providers will play host to over 50 finals with 500 competitors from all over the UK competing on 14, 15, 16 and 17 November 2023.

The College’s campus has been confirmed as the venue for 17 competitions* in total, including 3D Digital Game Art, Confectionery and Patisserie, Graphic Design, Restaurant Service and Website Development.

College Principal Rachel Curry commented: “We are very excited that the WorldSkills UK National Finals are coming to Greater Manchester and are proud to have been selected as one of the host venues for the competitions.

WorldSkills provides an amazing platform for students to showcase their advanced technical skills, raising the profile of all the opportunities that a high quality further technical education has the power to open doors to.

“We are really looking forward to hosting the event later this year and can’t wait to welcome the competitors to our campus.”

The celebration of world-class skills will culminate in the announcement of the winners at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday 17 November at The Bridgewater Hall.

The news of the finals being held in Greater Manchester comes a week after Mayor Andy Burnham launched proposals for a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate (MBacc) to improve access to technical education courses in the region.

WorldSkills UK Interim CEO Ben Blackledge said: “We are delighted to be bringing the national finals to Greater Manchester this autumn. With 50 finals spread over nine venues there will be something for everyone.

“As well as boosting young people’s personal skills and developing the skills that employers and the economy needs, events like the WorldSkills UK National Finals shine a light on the vital importance of high quality skills to the UK and the vast talent and potential we have in the next generation.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The WorldSkills UK competitions are a brilliant way for students and apprentices to develop their skills and push themselves to be the very best they can. 
“We are working hard in Greater Manchester to create opportunities for young people to develop high-level technical skills.  WorldSkills UK along with the idea of a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate for technical education are helping us achieve our ambitious plans to ensure young people in the city-region are given the tools they need to achieve their career aspirations. 
“We are all really excited that we will be welcoming students and apprentices from across the UK to showcase the very best of their skills and inspire young people in the region.”

Chair of GMColleges, which represents nine general further education colleges in Greater Manchester, and Principal of Wigan and Leigh College Anna Dawe said: ‘‘GMColleges are delighted that the WorldSkills UK National Finals are coming to Greater Manchester in November and that we will be host venues.  The nine further education colleges across Greater Manchester have long been strong supporters of WorldSkills UK and the strength of technical skills training has previously resulted in outstanding performances and proud medal winners.”

The competitions are a seven-month process including regional heats and intensive training before stepping up to the ultimate test of the national finals in November.  Young people are full of praise for the competitions with the vast majority (97%) of previous entrants saying taking part improved their technical skills and 93% saying they improved their personal and employability skills. 

Designed by industry experts, the competitions even provide a salary boost.  Research by Frontier Economics found that young people who have been involved with WorldSkills UK competitions earn around 60% more than their peers who have not taken part.

For a full competition list with locations, visit the WorldSkills UK website.

Explore the courses available at The Manchester College and apply today.


*3D Digital Game Art, Accountancy Technician, Catering (Foundation), Confectionery and Patisserie, Culinary Arts, Cyber Security, Digital Media Production, Graphic Design, Hairdressing (Foundation), IT Software Solutions for Business (Foundation), IT Support Technician, Media (Foundation), Network Infrastructure Technician, Network Systems Administrator, Restaurant Service, Restaurant Service (Foundation) and Website Development.