Competitors from six countries are about to prove that disabilities are not a barrier to professional success, as they take part in a European skills showcase with the emphasis on inclusivity.
The first European Skills Plus competition for young people with labour disabilities will get under way in the Netherlands on 16 March, with 13 teams competing in a series of activities to decide the best European Skills team for 2017.
The event is organized by WorldSkills Netherlands and the Pro Work Foundation, which promotes the career development of people with disabilities, and is supported by Erasmus+ - the European Union programme aimed at supporting education, training, youth and sport.
As part of the Dutch national event “Skills The Finals”, at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, the competition will feature four disciplines designed to show that people with disabilities deserve to have their professional abilities challenged, and assessed, in the same way as everyone else.
As a global movement that promotes access to vocational skills, WorldSkills believes that skills have no gender and that inequality in the workplace must be eradicated.
“We aim to speak up for women, for young women and for girls,” said the President of WorldSkills, Simon Bartley. “So, that they can feel empowered to take any career choice that they wish irrespective of the fact that that might be in an area that historically they may not have considered.”
At the General Assembly in Niagara Falls in October, WorldSkills formally endorsed the UN campaign, HeForShe. This initiative calls on people around the world to stand together to create a “bold, visible force for gender equality.”
Laurence Gates, a member of the WorldSkills Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Strategy Committee, said, “I am very happy that WS has joined the HeForShe Campaign because skills have no gender. It is high time we have more women in skills.”
WorldSkills and all the work it produces would not be possible without the support of our Global Partners. Their considerable assistance to the work of WorldSkills comes in many forms including financial, value in kind, and in the publicity of events.
At the end of last year, as young people from 34 countries put their talents on show at Europe’s largest biennial skills event, their stories, successes, and commitment to shaping the future gained global attention through an innovative media campaign.
This worldwide exposure for 500 Competitors who participated in EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016, which took place from 1-3 December 2016, was made possible by global innovation company 3M – a key WorldSkills Global Industry Partner and a longstanding supporter of WorldSkills goals – whose vision allowed the ethos of the event to reach an audience stretching into the tens of millions.
In recognition of International Women’s Day and our support for UN Women's Campaign HeForShe, we caught up with Mastercam’s President of CNC software, Meghan West to talk about the opportunities in the manufacturing industry for women and youth. Hear how the evolution of the industry is transforming careers into the dream jobs of the future.
As a joiner not just by trade, but also by nature, Justina Ashiyana was naturally attracted to participating in skills competitions – and she quickly found that they can open doors and horizons.
The Namibian was the only female participant in Joinery at her country’s National Skills Competition last year, but she refused to let the ratio of 11 men to one woman faze her. The result was a “life-changing experience”, which has helped her career and broadened her outlook.
“It enhanced my self-esteem, allowed me to learn about new techniques and technologies, and made me believe I can achieve whatever I set my mind to,” she said. “It encouraged me to realise that women can be artisans in male-dominated trades.”
“Skills competitions enable young people to see a skilled professional in action, and to discover or explore their passion. They show employers that the future of artisans depends on a sustainable, effective, and gender-balanced training system.”