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Congratulations to the 2009 Tool Blacks! We at WorldSkills New Zealand believe we have selected a top-class team who will all perform well at the WorldSkills International Competition. This year there is a very good spread of competitors from across the country, with a good number from "the Mainland".

Now the hard work begins as we embark on the road towards Calgary. Competitors will undertake specific training in their skill, under the guidance of their Skill Expert. I hope to have two training camps with one in Christchurch to allow for a visit to CPIT to scope the venue for 2010, and the second a few weeks prior to our departure for a final briefing, team photos, etc.

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WSTV.jpgWorldSkills International is delighted to announce the launch of an innovative and accessible new approach to skills videos - WorldSkills TV.

WorldSkills TV is comprised of a comprehensive selection of skills-related short videos which are available for download and use by all skills stakeholders.

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By WorldSkills Calgary 2009

Members of the Board of Directors were treated to a "White Hat Ceremony", which is a token of friendship in Calgary.

Richard Walker, CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009 was delighted with his team's trip to Austria's capital, Vienna, for the WorldSkills General Assembly 2008.

"The 2008 WorldSkills International General Assembly in Vienna was extraordinarily important for us", said Richard Walker. "We were able to present our plans, packages and preparations to the Delegates and answer any and all questions they had."

"Having the City of Calgary and Tourism Calgary personnel with us was very helpful as we addressed issues ranging from - "Where can I get a babysitter in Calgary? To how far away are the mountains?"

"The Delegates at the General Assembly left knowing that Calgary is ready to host the 40th WorldSkills Competition."

"We had an excellent series of meetings in Vienna. From the General Assembly to one-on-one meetings with Global Sponsors, our Calgary Team was kept busy."

Representatives from WorldSkills Calgary 2009 were also energised by the presentation by the Youth Forum.

"It was great to see some of the past Champions investing so much time and effort into creating ideas that will strengthen the WorldSkills organisation, while at the same time leaving a legacy for future Competitors," said Brian Pardell, Vice-President Operations of WorldSkills Calgary 2009.

For more information on the 40th WorldSkills Competition in Calgary please visit:

Michael-Hourihan.jpgMichael Hourihan, Ireland

Judge Electrical Installation 

What are your impressions of The Swedish Skills Championships in Jönköping?

Really quite impressive. The Irish finals were held at schools. We have lots of smaller finals rather than a big championship. This is a whole different event. In Ireland, everything is much smaller with far fewer visitors. We’re glad if we get 100 visitors for each final.

Why have you chosen to work with smaller finals in this way?

We have no help from the state – we just can’t afford a big championship. In Sweden, from what I understand, the state provides financing. Unfortunately, there’s just no interest for this sort of thing in Ireland.

What do you think can be done to get even more spectators to attend the event?

Now that I’m standing here judging at our stand, I’ve been wondering a lot about what they’re doing at the other stands. Straight across, for example, (offset printing) – what are they doing? I see that it’s some sort of print, but there are many things I just don’t understand. It might be a good idea for every stand to post some sort of explanation of each part of the competition or have a person there to explain. I think that would help.

How are the Swedish competitors doing?

They are very skilled and focused. There are many stages and it’s already the second day. Tomorrow, we’ll see the finals. I can hardly wait!

Linda_Algrave.jpgLinda Algrave, Norway

Judge, Garden Arrangement  

What are your impressions of The Swedish Skills Championships in Jönköping?

They’re very good – lots of space and good materials. The large signs on the ceiling are very practical and make it easy to find your way around. This is definitely a plus compared to other competitions I’ve been at.

What are these competitions like in Norway?

They are about the same as here, only not as big. We don’t have as many people competing as here. Having said that, I think that with the physical size of the facilities, I think there could have been even more participants.

Did your competition area get a lot of spectators?

There were a lot of spectators yesterday and this morning, which is great, because it isn’t until the end of the second day that you can reall start to see what competitors have in mind with their projects.

How are the Swedish competitors?

They’re great. It’s rewarding to see such enthusiasm, something I think you notice in the entire event. The young people who come here are really psyched up!

The envelope please!

23 October 2008


It wasn't the Oscars, but it could have been when WorldSkills honoured Anders Plesner for his many years of service for WorldSkills. First serving as a Technical Delegate for Sweden at Seoul 2001, Anders Plesner has made an invaluable contribution to both WorldSkills International and Youth Skills Sweden. He was presented an honorary title and will remain an asset to the organisation.

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