Skills Champion Network

The Skills Champions Network was formed in 2011, following a meeting with the Welsh Government and the Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths, who agreed that there was a need for the creation and establishment of a Skills Champions Network. This group represents training providers across Wales and includes: National Training Federation Wales affiliated members; Further Education colleges; Higher Education Wales; Welsh Government; and Colegau Cymru.


The first Network meeting took place on the 28th February 2011. Working with ColegauCymru and NTfW the network drafted terms of reference for the group and for the key role of Provider Skills Champions. The purpose of this was to focus on what was required to develop the provider network in Wales and to enable greater participation in Skills Competitions by widening the knowledge and expertise across the education and training sector.

The network supported the proposal to submit a project bid to the Welsh Government to provide resources through Skills Competition Wales funding to develop and deliver additional competitions in Wales. This has stimulated interest and participation in competitions across Wales. The 2011 "Creating Team Wales" bid was subsequently approved with the Skills Champions Network delivering 24 competitions across Wales with 349 competitors taking part in various skill areas including the Built Environment, Social & Professional, IT & Business and Engineering. In order to further develop competitors, the project also invited winners from the 24 competitions to participate in a coaching & mentoring event. A similar training event was held for provider staff who had been involved in developing the competitors.

The project has since grown with a further bid approved in 2012 which delivered 29 competitions and in 2013 the Welsh Government approved a subsequent bid which saw an additional 32 competitions delivered during 2014. The hunger for knowledge and a greater understanding of the competition pathway to UK and international competitions has grown considerably from learning providers. The Network has expanded and the demand to expand the level of support has increased.

In November 2013, Barry Liles in his role as a board director for the Skills Show and Skills Champion Ambassador for Wales arranged for the autumn term meeting to take place at the Skills Show in Birmingham. This provided members with an opportunity to experience the event and to see the WorldSkills UK competitions in action. College Principals and NTFW Board members were also invited and those that attended were provided with a personal tour of the event which included ‘Have a Go’ activities, career stands and Skills showcase presentations. It is hoped that this experience will improve the understanding of WorldSkills across training providers and raise the priority of supporting competitors from within their own organisations.

Current Members

Skills Champion Network (February 2015)

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Skills competitions test who has the ability to be a champion. And for those who’ve got what it takes, career stardom awaits..