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Starting a revolution

13 September 2008

The WorldSkills Youth Forum 2008 has now finished. It has been four hectic days with lots of constructive discussions about the future of the WorldSkills movement seen through the eyes of past Champions.

The YF ended with a very high-tech presentation given to the General Assembly on September 11, 2008, who couldn’t wait to get out of their seats to congratulate the 34 participants, rewarding their hard work with a standing ovation. WorldSkills International would like to thank Skills Austria for hosting the second Youth Forum, it has been a fantastic experience.

2008 Youth Forum Report 2008 Youth Forum Report

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WorldSkills International President Jack Dusseldorp and Astronaut Marcos C Pontes


Austria’s finest industry, government and educational experts joined with Brazilian astronaut, Marcos C Pontes to inspire representatives from 43 countries and regions at the WorldSkills Leaders' Forum 2008 in Vienna. With experience spanning Europe and Latin America (and the galaxy!) the guest speakers offered thought-provoking insight into world of youth, future and skills, and set an exciting tone for a week of intense discussions that will launch WorldSkills to the next level.

Following inspirational presentations from representatives of Austria’s Federal Economic Chamber, Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour and industry giants IKEA and W&H Dentalwerk Burmoos, WorldSkills Leaders engaged in further discussion about the future of youth in training and work during an open panel session.

In closing the morning’s high energy discussions, WorldSkills International President Jack Dusseldorp recognised Marcos C Pontes' outstanding achievements and welcomed him to the WorldSkills Family as the organisation's first ever Global Skills Ambassador.

WSI President Jack Dusseldorp and Youth Forum Delegates: Esben Therkildsen

WorldSkills International Executive Board and 2008 WorldSkills Youth Forum Delegates

WSI President Jack Dusseldorp and Youth Forum Delegate, Johanna Obisike from Finland

During Day 1 of the WorldSkills Youth Forum 2008, the Delegates did all sorts of activities including networking and team building. They got to know each other and more about the WorldSkills movement. In the afternoon the WorldSkills Executive Board came to visit the Delegates and share their vision for the next few days. After mingling and learning from each other, the Executive Board and the Youth Delegates made their way to the grand Vienna City Hall located in beautiful downtown. They were graciously hosted by the City for an evening of fine dining and entertainment. During the speech by WorldSkills International President Jack Dusseldorp quoted one of the Youth Forum Delegates:

“I'm Johanna Obisike from Finland. I competed in Ladies dressmaking at Shizuoka 2007. I'm going to open my own tailors shop right after Youth Forum, so I'm little bit busy at the moment.

I'm excited to come to Austria. One of the best things that WorldSkills has given me (besides the huge development of my skills during the preparation for the Competition of course) are new friends from all over the world.

I just received an e-mail from my fellow competitor from Korea. It has been wonderful to be able to keep in touch with her. At first we had to use pen and paper to communicate, draw pictures to explain what we mean. Now we are using web-translator until she learns more English.

Even though we speak different languages we share the passion for making clothes, maybe some day we'll have a chance to work together.

I hope the spirit of WorldSkills becomes even more open and that besides competing, young people have more opportunities to make friends and share knowledge.”

This shows the power of the WorldSkills movement for the young Champions that have competed at the WorldSkills Competition. It is a lasting, life changing experience for most and they are eager and willing to contribute to the further development of the movement and the WorldSkills organisations, both internationally and nationally/regionally. Day 1 certainly set the standard for the rest of the week which will continue to engage youth in the future direction of the WorldSkills movement. We are all eagerly awaiting this input and ideas.

mexico_0.jpgThe very first national skills competitions in Mexico held on May 28-31 were a great success. The competitions, held in various venues in Mexico City, included a wide range of skills from Jewellery to Mechatronics and Electrical Wiring. Mrs. Genny Gongora, the Official Delegate (OD) to WorldSkills International (WSI) who has been the enthusiastic initiator of Mexico’s Membership in WSI, remarked that the competitions branded as “WorldSkills Mexico 2008” generated a lot of enthusiasm and publicity about skills training. 

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By SkillsIceland
Reykjavík, Iceland

 Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister of Industry, launches the competition

 The Hairstylist competition

The awards ceremony. Awards were presented by Árni Már Heimisson (back to camera) who was the Icelandic and Nordic champion in plumbing last year and the first Icelander to compete in a WorldSkills International Competition last year

The Icelandic National Youth Skills Competition was held on April 18-19, 2008. This was the fourth National Youth Skills Competition held in Iceland. This year’s competition saw several significant changes, including organisational changes, new skill categories and a longer competition. The competition received considerable media attention and attendance was very good.

The competition was launched by the Icelandic minister of industry, Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, who remarked on the importance of raising the profile of vocational education in Iceland and the important role of the national skills competition in that regard. Nearly 60 contestants competed in thirteen skill categories (ten in previous competitions).

The competition ran for two days instead of one day in previous years. This allowed for more elaborate test projects and a more thorough judging process. The stakes were higher for contestants this year, since Iceland has now become a full Member of both WorldSkills International (WSI) and the European Skills Promotion Organisation (ESPO), which organises the EuroSkills Competition. Winners in several skill categories will now prepare for the challenge of competing in these international competitions.

In the future, the Icelandic National Youth Skills Competition will be held biennially instead of annually. This will allow organisers to better plan the event to prepare Competitors for the prospect of taking part in larger international competitions. The competition is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Several trade organisations have expressed an interest in taking part in future competitions and the organisers already foresee the addition of at least three new skill categories in the next competition to be held in the spring of 2010.

For more information please contact: Mr. Tryggvi Thayer, Project Manager, Idnmennt SES – SkillsIceland.
Tel: +354 562 3370, Email: Website: survey