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WorldSkills UK hosts third Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Heroes Awards



The awards celebrate individuals and organisations championing diversity and inclusion in technical education.


An electronics engineer who spent lockdown designing science packs for school children and a college’s programme to get non-English speakers to sign up for language courses were among the winners at the third annual WorldSkills UK’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Heroes Awards.

The awards, in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and NCFE, celebrate the individuals and organisations championing diversity and inclusion in the technical education sectors.

Anna Hart from Edinburgh received the Rising Star award for her pioneering work in promoting STEM subjects to children — girls in particular. Anna spent the first COVID-19 lockdown creating resources to spark primary school children’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects. As well as developing special packs to celebrate women in engineering, she reached out to universities to offer STEM career events to show the exciting careers for woman in engineering.

Cardiff and Vale College won EDI Ambassador of the Year for its work in opening up educational opportunities to the local community. One of the college’s programmes was so successful in getting people who did not speak English as a first language to sign up for language classes that the government rolled it out across Wales.

Middlesex University’s Puja Varsani (pictured below) was awarded the Inspirational Role Model award for her work helping women, minority groups and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds consider careers in STEM. She organises events to promote STEM subjects and careers as well as volunteering in local secondary schools holding robotics competitions.


CEO of WorldSkills UK, Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. We have been so impressed with the number and quality of entries this year. We launched these awards to highlight and celebrate the impact our partners’ work is having and we have been so inspired by the people and stories behind the nominations. With more categories and entries this year, I am so pleased to see the awards going from strength to strength.”

Full list of winners

  • Rising Star (sponsored by NCFE): Anna Hart, Leonardo
  • Inspirational Role Model (sponsored by Festo): Puja Varsani, Middlesex University
  • Inclusive Skills Excellence (sponsored by FE Week): Mo Isap, IN4 Group
  • Skills Competition Diversity Champion Award (sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners): Richard Hutchins, Institute of the Motor Industry
  • EDI Ambassador (sponsored by Forfusion): Cardiff and Vale College
  • EDI Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Toyota Manufacturing UK): Education & Training Foundation and Association of Colleges
  • Diversity Network of the Year (sponsored by Air Products): National Ambulance Disability Network
  • Inclusivity in Excellence (sponsored by Palo Alto Networks): South Staffordshire College

You can watch videos about the award ceremony winners on YouTube.