From education to employment

Winners could compete in Calgary in 2009.

Young people with excellent vocational skills are being invited to take part in 2008 WorldSkills UK competitions. Winners from the competitions could go on to represent the UK in the EuroSkills 2008 competition in the Netherlands and the 2009 WorldSkills competition in Calgary, Canada.

Participation in the competitions is free and entrants can be employed, in training or in education. Competitions are held for five different sectors: Built Environment, Cultural and Creative Arts, IT and Business Administration, Engineering and Personal, Social and Hospitality Services.

Simon Bartley, Chief Executive of UK Skills, the organisation leading WorldSkills UK said: “Skills competitions have well recognised benefits; they allow young people to stretch their skills, showing employers they have what it takes to perform under pressure. They give employers the chance to compare their training standards against those of their competitors whilst showcasing their company, helping to raise its profile. For training providers they also raise standards, demonstrating teaching skills and enlivening teaching.”

The WorldSkills competition is the largest of its kind in the world. Every two years over 50 countries compete in more than 40 different skills. Over the 4 days of competition, skills are judged in areas as diverse as landscape gardening, hairdressing and cabinet making. Many of the competitors go on to act as ambassadors for their respective skills and promote excellence in vocational education and training in their own countries.

A reception was recently held at 10 Downing Street by Prime Minister, Gordon Brown for the 2007 UK, Worldskills team. The team came 11th in the competition in Shizuoka, Japan, taking away a gold medal, a silver medal and two bronze medals.

UK Skills is a not-for-profit organisation which champions skills and learning for work through competitions and awards.

The organisation was established in 1990 to raise skill levels in the UK through skills competitions. UK Skills also manages the National Training Awards and organises other skills related events. Many Worldskills UK competitions are also open to adults.

In 2011 the Worldskills competition will be held in London.

The deadline for applications is February 28th and more information can be found at

Marie Kemplay

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