UK skills caravan to further strengthen economic links between the UK and Odisha.

The British Deputy High Commission has organised the visit of a 10-member UK education and skills delegation to Odisha on 1 August to promote business opportunities for UK-based companies.

At an interactive business session with the Odisha Skill Development Authority and representatives of the Odisha government, the visiting UK companies showcased their operations and how their products and services can help Odisha bridge the skills gap and drive the economy forward.

The Odisha representatives present to interact with the UK companies were:

  • Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority
  • Sanjay Kumar Singh, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Skill Development and Technical Education, Government of Odisha
  • Rajesh Patil, Director, State Skill Mission

The visit of the delegation titled the ‘UK Skills Caravan’ is in response to the Government of Odisha’s (GoO) request for information and knowledge about UK expertise in the area of English language skills for primary, ITI and Diploma level students. The GoO also sought interaction with UK vocational and technical skill providers especially in areas like healthcare, electrical, and building infrastructure. An area of particular interest for Odisha is ‘training the trainer’ programmes to accelerate skills training.

In a message, the British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata, Bruce Bucknell said:

the relationship between Odisha and UK is already strong but there is scope to make it even stronger.

Welcoming the interaction Bruce said:

The UK Skills Caravan was an ideal example of how UK expertise and proven service delivery can play a catalytic role in this vital area.

He also said:

UK vocational skills and training providers have over a hundred years of experience in delivering world class skills to people around the globe. The UK has the capacity to deliver at scale – delivering skills to over 3 million learners a year in the UK alone and to countless more around the globe.

Mentioning that developing a more skilled workforce is critical to India’s future development, Bruce Bucknell said that he was proud that India is already host to many of the UK’s most experienced and innovative skill development providers. He was hopeful that the visiting UK companies would find business partners and commercial opportunities in Odisha.

Apart from the interaction with the GoO, the visiting UK companies held focussed meetings with Odisha-based companies looking for education and skills partnerships.

Odisha Skill Development Authority: Odisha Skill Development Authority was floated as a special purpose vehicle to execute ADB funded skill programme within five years. The target set is quite ambitious for 2021.This project will help the government improve the employability, productivity, and income of its working-age population by enhancing the state’s capacity to supply high-quality, market-responsive skills training. These training programmes are in line with the state’s development strategies in priority sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and services (e.g., healthcare and automotive).

Profile of UK skills and education companies:

City and Guilds: City and Guilds are a leading skills development organisation, providing services for training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace. City and Guilds assessment and certification are valued by employers across the world, helping individuals develop their talents and abilities for career progression.

Pearson: Pearson dates back to 1724 when Thomas Longman founded Longman. Pearson was actually founded in 1844 by Samuel Pearson, a small building firm in Yorkshire in the North of England in 1880s. In the intervening years, Pearson has done many different things. Today, they are focused solely on education – and succeeding like their founder had envisioned.

Mott MacDonald: Mott MacDonald is a $2 billion management, engineering and development consultancy. In India, Mott MacDonald has over 1200 staff engaged in planning, developing, and delivering projects from six principal metro offices and 45 project offices. It provides a market-driven approach to skills development – working with governments, training providers and employers to ensure technical and vocational education and training delivers the skills people need to succeed in today’s labour market and in the future.

UK Skills: UK Skills is an organisation dedicated to bringing best practice, quality educational resources and innovative systems from the UK to India. These learning resources and systems will support the development, training and education of all communities in India including e-Assessment, e-Learning and faculty/institution management. UK Skills works as a consultant, project manager, enabler, with partners in the UK, India and beyond to identify, develop and deploy quality, innovative, proven materials for training, learning and assessment.

Assessment Tomorrow has been working in the field of e-Assessment and e-Learning since 2003. The company manages, hosts and organises conferences, seminars, webinars, workshops and training events in the field of computer based assessment and learning.

They also act as an adviser and project manager to private and public sector organisations who are selecting, developing or implementing e-Assessment or e-learning solutions. Assessment Tomorrow works with partners across the world.

Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE): NCFE is a national Awarding Organisation, specialising in designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards. Last year alone, over 340,000 learners from over 2,000 colleges, schools and training organisations chose NCFE as the Awarding Organisation to help them move their careers forward. With the merger of NCFE with CACHE, the company is now a leading specialist in healthcare and social care. NCFE’s health and social care qualifications are designed to provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to work with some of society’s most vulnerable people, including the elderly, children, and adults with learning difficulties.

Cambridge English: Cambridge English helps candidates to learn English and prove English language skills. Preparing for a Cambridge English exam gives candidates the confidence and skills to communicate with people from all over the world. Over 20,000 organisations accept Cambridge English certificates worldwide including leading companies, universities and institutions such as: American Express India, SKODA India, CMS College of Engineering, and the WHO India.

NPTC Group: NPTC Group is based in Wales and provides education and training in every conceivable academic and vocational subject area. NPTC Group comprises of 9 campuses spread across Wales. The NPTC Group of Colleges is considered expert at designing and delivering training programmes that develop student’s knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts alongside practical training that reinforces the link between the two.

Greengrade Solutions: Greengrade Solutions provides innovative learning technologies regardless of languages, learning skills and infrastructure barriers. Starting with focus on regulatory and compliance requirements the company is now working with brands and association across industries reducing training costs and supporting remote validated learning development of low-skilled population. Greengrade’s clients include John Lewis, GSK, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and Save the Children.

British Council: British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide.

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