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Bury St Edmunds' West Suffolk College to join UK's educational elite



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In what has been called a ‘milestone’ moment, a Bury St Edmunds college is to become part of a small and elite number of colleges exposed to ‘Olympic’ level training.

West Suffolk College has become part of WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence programme with teachers due to receive high-class tutorship.

They will be one of only 20 colleges in the UK on the prestigious programme.

West Suffolk College will be one of only 20 colleges in the UK on the prestigious programme.
West Suffolk College will be one of only 20 colleges in the UK on the prestigious programme.

The partnership comes after students from the college impressed well enough at the WorldSkills competition, an international tournament testing students on technical skills, to be considered for the programme.

Dr Nikos Savvas, chief executive of the West Suffolk College Group said: “In order to understand, this is the Olympics of skills, this is the best people from around the world getting together and competing, and to have a college from Suffolk competing on a world stage, that pretty much makes our students and their teachers the best in the world.”

The newly formed partnership meant the college was now part of a prestigious number of colleges across the UK in partnership with WorldSkills, and would have access to ‘Olympic’ level training.

Dr Nikos Savvas (second from the left) said to be accepted on to the programme was a 'recognition that West Suffolk College is a world-class college.' Picture by Mecha Morton.
Dr Nikos Savvas (second from the left) said to be accepted on to the programme was a 'recognition that West Suffolk College is a world-class college.' Picture by Mecha Morton.

“It’s like creating the equivalent an Olympic training centre in Bury St Edmunds,” Dr Savvas said.

He added: “This is a recognition that West Suffolk College is a world-class college.”

Parisa Shirazi, head of skills and development and international competition at WorldSkills UK, said the new partnership with West Suffolk College was a ‘milestone moment’ and ‘a unique opportunity for West Suffolk College to work with other colleges across the UK and join the dawn of a skills revolution’.

She said: “Working with the staff at West Suffolk College we will champion a skills-led recovery, which is driven by international benchmarking and rightly values high-quality apprenticeships and technical education to enable all young people to develop the employability skills that will provide them with a rewarding future.”

The college is also celebrating National Construction Week next week with a virtual event.
The college is also celebrating National Construction Week next week with a virtual event.

The college will also be celebrating National Construction Week next week with a virtual event, from Tuesday to Friday.

To register go to www.wsc.ac.uk/buildtastic