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Six months and counting

16 February 2009

By WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Ltd.

wsc_2009_250.jpgAs spring arrives in Canada, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Ltd. is busily preparing for the arrival of the WorldSkills International Technical Committee and Chief Experts. “March will be an extremely busy month for us here in Calgary,” says Richard Walker, President and CEO of the Calgary organising committee. “We start the month with the Technical Committee meeting and sessions with the Chief Experts from all skill categories. Then we bring our Work Shop Supervisors to Calgary to join the meeting and present the material samples and discuss space allocation.”

WorldSkills International holds meetings six months before every WorldSkills Competition to review final preparations with the host country. “We see it as an opportunity to demonstrate our level of planning and preparation,” says Brian Pardell, VP of Operations for Calgary 2009. “When you add site tours of the Competition Venue and Competitors’ Village to the schedule of meetings, the delegates have a great opportunity to see the results of much of our planning effort.

Given that March meetings are 6 months prior to the 40th WorldSkills Competition, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 is focusing efforts on increasing the engagement with media. These meetings will serve as the launch to the full media campaign that will put WorldSkills Champions on the World Stage. “We've scheduled a media and sponsorship evening for one of the nights so that we can introduce Chef David Adjey - one of WorldSkills Calgary 2009’s Celebrity Spokespeople. In addition to Chef Adjey, we are honoured to have the Skills Compétences Canada culinary Competitor for Team Canada 2009 attend the event as well. It’s a great way to have a Celebrity Chef and Canada’s newest, up and coming culinary Competitor in the same restaurant demonstrating their skills. We plan to engage the local, national and international media during this event and highlight not only the culinary aspects of WorldSkills Calgary 2009 but also the strong support from our many sponsors,” .

Later that same week, Calgary hosts a small group of Team Leaders who will examine the Competition Venue, Competitors' Village site, as well as review details relating to the Competitors such things as food service and transportation arrangements for the anticipated 1,000 international Competitors. “It’s important for us to be able to hear from the Team Leaders and discuss those things that need last minute adjustments. We also hope that they will leave Calgary with a great feeling about the coming Competition and tell their colleagues about the preparations that have been put in place for the Competitors,” Walker said.

“After all of the international visitors leave Calgary we gear-up for a Board of Directors meeting for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 and the presentation and approval of our final budget for the Competition year,” concludes Walker.

For more information about WorldSkills Calgary 2009, visit:

By UK Skills 

Automobile Technology - Dean Jones
Fashion Technology - Sophie Willet
Welding - Andy Johnston

The final 30 members of Squad UK were announced Tuesday, February 3rd, with the hopes that they will be ready to take on the very best in the world at the biggest skills competition ever - WorldSkills Calgary 2009 - which will take place in Calgary, Canada in September.

The new squad members were announced at a special event at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, which celebrated the success of the squad so far and went on to highlight the importance of skills in the UK. A panel discussion was held on the topic “The role of skills and skills competitions in the current economic climate. The debate was lead by UK Skills Chief Executive Simon Bartley and included high calibre speakers.

Simon Bartley, Chief Executive of UK Skills, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our new members of Squad UK. Each person on the squad has already shown that they have tremendous talent in their field but all of them now face months of hard training to make sure they are world class in order to be able to compete at WorldSkills in Canada in September. We are all very proud of these young people who are determined to make a difference in their careers and who are highlighting to the rest of the UK just how much young talent we actually have. In this current economic crisis it is more important than ever to make sure that this country has skilled people in the workforce. We need to be investing in this talent and preparing ourselves for the new challenges and competition that inevitably lies ahead. It is competitions such as WorldSkills which we hope will make people realise just what the UK has to offer. We send our congratulations to them all for being selected for Squad UK and wish them luck in their training.”

The new Squad UK members have earned the right to be proud of themselves having won their places after a tough three day selection competition which took place at colleges including City College Coventry, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, South Birmingham College, Warwickshire College and Stratford-upon-Avon College.

Skills Minister Lord Young said: “At a time when the country is facing tough economic challenges it is heartening to see just how much talent we have in the UK, and how dedicated these young people are to making sure they are world class in their profession. I hope they will inspire others to recognise just how skilled and rewarding vocational careers can be.”

Squad UK will now be increasing their training to ensure their place on Team UK who will compete at WorldSkills Calgary 2009. The final Team UK members will be announced in June. The independent education foundation Edge is the official supporter of both Squad UK and Team UK. The UK’s WorldSkills team is managed by UK Skills working in partnership with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and key partners from education, government and industry. Brathay provide and support the training and development of Squad and Team UK

For more information, please contact: Kathryn Crookenden – UK Skills, +44 207 612 9261,

Building Team Canada

3 February 2009

By Skills Compétences Canada

Team Canada with Maple taffy: Devon DeBoer, AB, Autobody Repair – Tiffany Vandermey, AB, Painting and Decorating – Brad Chyz, AB, Sheet Metal Technology – Daniel Green, AB, Car Painting.

Preparing to take on the World! September 1-7, 2009, Calgary, Alberta - Canada
38 Canadian youth skilled in trades and technology are preparing for the biggest event of their lives! Having recently met for the second time in Montebello, Quebec, they are building team spirit and creating some essential support systems that will enable them to take on some of the challenges and stresses that they may face at the WorldSkills Competition. Skills/Compétences Canada, as the Canadian Member organisation to WorldSkills International, endeavours to provide their Competitors with valuable tools and resources to facilitate their journey and make it an experience that is constructive and meaningful.

Just like Olympic athletes, Competitors spend countless hours training in the months leading up to the WorldSkills Competition. With the help of industry leaders and/or faculty members of secondary schools, colleges or polytechnic institutes, Canadian Competitors train through practical experiences and mental conditioning towards achieving success on this world trade and technology stage.

Not only are they training and mentally preparing for this event, but as hosts to 1000 competitors from 50 countries around the world, they are ambassadors for the rest of the nation and feel the pressure of giving the best performance of their lives. The pressure is on! 

Team Building Curling activity: Samuel Chabot, QC, Ladies/Mens Hairdressing-Isabelle Collin, NB, Beauty Therapy

The ultimate goal of this global event is to inspire young people to pursue a career in the trades and technology areas. It is an opportunity for youth from around the world to truly appreciate trades and technologies occupations as first choice careers, and to understand the many opportunities that these can provide. More than 150,000 Canadian students and other spectators are expected to attend the event at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta. 

“It enables the best of the world’s young skilled people to motivate and inspire successive generations to see that vocational skills can lead to secure and fulfilling lives in a fast-changing competitive world.” Says WorldSkills International President Tjerk (Jack) Dusseldorp.

It is not only about seeing the Competition first hand, but also trying a skill first hand. Besides boasting a large trade show in the Global Skills Village, this extraordinary event will showcase Skills City which will house the Try-A-Trade and Try-A-Skill demonstrations which allow students visiting the event to test drive dozens of trades and technology career options under one roof. These demonstrations were created as an approachable platform for students to try their hand at a skill while connecting with experts from that field. 

Team Canada from left to right: Stacy DuBois, ON, IT/Software Applications - Caitlin Mayo, BC, Confectioner/Pastry Cook.- Sébastien Laframboise, QC, Cooking – Jason Valdron, NB, Web Design – Mathieu Boily, QC, Refrigeration - Karl Loos, YK, CNC Milling – Kevin Jeanson, QC, Bricklaying

The Worldskills Competition to be held in Calgary on September 1-7, 2009 will be the city’s largest international competitive event since the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. The organising committee, Worldskills Calgary 2009 Ltd., is leading event coordinationwith support from WorldSkills International, Skills/Competences Canada, and Skills Canada Alberta. Along with numerous sponsors and suppliers, the major event funding partners include: Government of Canada, Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary.

For more information:
- about Team Canada, visit
- about WorldSkills Calgary 2009, visit

By DK-Skills

dk_bricklaying_1_250.jpgOn a normal day more than 100.000 people walk through the almost 100 year old wooden arches of Copenhagen Central Station and today is no different. For three young bricklayers it is very different though. For the past two days they have been the centre of attention, using 40 m2 of the station, while competing to be the chosen one to go to the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada 2009.

‘We wanted to create as close to the same atmosphere as you can experience at a WorldSkills Competition and what better place than the central station where the same amount of people walk past every day, making a lot of noise and shooting a few comments their way,’ says Erik Fog Larsen from the Bricklayers’ Trade Committee’s secretariat.

The Danish Champion was selected back in September 2008, and he is also one of the young men in the small competition. But why hold another competition when you have already found your winner?

‘Sending a young Competitor all the way to Calgary, making sure that he has gone through a good training and coaching process is expensive and the risk of him falling ill right before departure is too big. We also want to make sure that the person we select can cope with the pressure of competing internationally. Therefore we have decided to train the gold, silver and bronze winner from the national competition. Then we have back-up if anything should happen.’ Erik Fog Larsen continues.

dk_bricklaying_3_250.jpgTwice during this hectic morning, the competitors have been interviewed by Danish morning television. It is invaluable promotion of bricklaying skills in particular and vocational education in general.

The bricklayers have really taken advantage of participating in WorldSkills Competition since 1999. They have developed the curriculum based on the experience from the competitions, e.g. more drawing lessons and more math. They have raised the standards of the national competition to bring it in line with WSI standards. And they have systematically promoted their participation in the competitions among the young people already training to become bricklayers, so more of them sign up for the local and regional competitions.

However, the most brilliant results from 10 years of hard work to develop the education are these: they have doubled the intake of apprentices over the last five years, and even though the standards for the journeyman’s test have been raised by 30% they don’t experience higher drop-out rates. This is an achievement to be proud of.

For WSC2009, Denmark will send a team of 15 Competitors and we are competing in 5 new trades.

David Hoey, left, CEO of WorldSkills International, and Richard Walker, CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009, are getting set for September.

By Sean Myers, Calgary Herald

The planning for the world's largest international trades competition is getting down to the details, but there's a whole lot of heavy lifting ahead.

Members of WorldSkills International were in town this week to check on the progress being made by the local organising committee for WorldSkills Calgary 2009, running Sept. 1 to 7.

"We're here to check on progress, but the second reason is to see what value-added items and partnerships we can develop to make the event even better," said David Hoey, CEO of Netherlandsbased WorldSkills International. "It's about sharing ideas. We definitely feel everything is on track."

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