Delegates in Coventry city centre, enjoying the Skate into Coventry experience
Government officials, ministers, education leaders and employers from 10 developing nations took to the ice in Coventry to celebrate a successful three-day seminar in the city.
More than 50 representatives of developing countries across the globe have been in the city to find out more about the role that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) can play in delivering a circular, sustainable economy.
The event was organised by the British Council and attracted delegates from countries including Botswana, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania.
Over the three days, delegates met employers, visited Warwick Trident College, the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR),took part in interactive workshops and heard from expert speakers.
The final afternoon featured a packed cultural programme organised by destination management organisation, Destination Coventry, with volunteer City Hosts showing the delegates around Coventry city centre.
Delegates were given the chance to take in key city highlights such as the Council House, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry Cathedral, St Mary’s Guildhall and Priory Place.
On arrival into Broadgate, the group took the opportunity to put on their skates and enjoy the Skate into Coventry ice rink in the heart of the city centre, which has been created by Coventry City Council in partnership with Visit Coventry and Coventry Business Improvement District (BID).
Many of the delegates had never ice skated before and took to the ice for the first time – with families and local people also in the city centre to enjoy Winter Wonderland.
The ice rink in the city centre has already seen over 3,000 people skate since opening in the last couple of weeks.
Paul Jones, managing director of Destination Coventry, said: “The ice-skating experience has been a great hit since opening in November and we knew it would be the perfect way to sign-off the three days of learning in our city for the delegates and the British Council.
“It is a truly magical experience, particularly in the evening with the Christmas lights around Broadgate and Lady Godiva watching over the rink.
“We would like to thank the City Hosts for their support across the day, they continue to be fantastic ambassadors for our city and are ideally placed to show international visitors everything that is great about Coventry.
“I hope the British Council and delegates enjoyed their stay in Coventry and am confident they will go back to their respective countries and tell people about the strength of visitor offering we have here as a visitor destination.”
The TVET seminar being held in Coventry sees a continued commitment from the British Council to support the city, as the organisation has already committed to relocating their arts collection to the planned multi-million-pound National Collection Centre in the former IKEA building.
Chris Cooper, Global Lead for TVET, British Council, said: “Our Going Global Partnerships Programme seminar provided an invaluable opportunity for delegates to visit the UK, share their knowledge and experience, whilst hearing and seeing some of the innovative and good practices in Coventry and the wider West Midlands region.
“The warm welcome provided by Councillor Jim O’Boyle and enthusiasm and knowledge shared by the Coventry City Hosts gave our delegates a wonderful visit, creating some great memories and connections to take back to their countries.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, said: “I was delighted to welcome TVET delegates to the city and have the opportunity to talk about how we are leading the green industrial revolution including all the jobs that will create for local people.
“I’m also pleased that while they were here they were able to see some of what we have to offer to visitors because of course the tourism sector is vital for the economic success of our city too.”
To find out more and book tickets for Skate into Coventry visit https://www.visitcoventry.co.uk/skate