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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:

By Mikaeli Costello, WorldSkills Champions Exchange Coordinator

When WorldSkills International promised its Champions an exchange program that would open doors to first-class employers, the forward-thinking Human Resources department at Dynamate saw a unique opportunity. Lured by the chance for their staff to work with, and learn from, some of the world’s best skilled young people, Dynamate quickly extended an invitation to WorldSkills Champions into its manufacturing plants.

Home to 1200 staff, work at Dynamate is spread across three-plants; in Sweden’s North, West and just outside of Stockholm. At the core of the business are more than 500 maintenance machines, designed to perform corrective and preventative maintenance for leading truck manufacturer, Scania. These machines are under constant scrutiny to ensure stringent health and safety requirements are met and an efficient flow of production is maintained at all times. Such rigorous procedures have earned Dynamate a reputation for ‘one of the most comprehensive and well-structured maintenance strategies in the industry’.

As the crux of their business, Dynmate is very selective about who they put at the helm of operating this expensive and valuable machinery. So, you might ask, why is Dynamate so keen to invite foreign young people - whom they have not seen, nor met - to work with these machines?

'Because they’re WorldSkills Champions.'

Despite being young and not speaking Sweden’s native tongue, WorldSkills Champions have all the characteristics that high-quality employers like Scania see as essential.

‘They’re bright, skilled, hardworking and keen to learn,’ says Karina Gjedsted, Human Resources Manager for Dynamate.

‘We see an opportunity with the WorldSkills Champions Exchange to have some of the very best skilled young people work with us, and it helps us reach a new pool of talent outside Swedish borders. These young people not only bring a high level of skill, they’ve got new perspectives and unique experiences that help us to grow and learn.’

Dynamate not only see the business value in engaging WorldSkills Champions at their plants, they’re also keen supporters of the personal development of young people.

‘It’s a win-win situation. We get great workers, but we’re also able to provide young people with an opportunity to travel, experience culture and live away from their homes,’ says Karina.

‘We see great value in global exposure, for both the young people and Dynamate. Our work spreads through the Netherlands, France, Argentina and Brazil, so it makes perfect sense to have a global spread in our employee base too’.

Dynamate is already working with two WorldSkills Champions, from Nothern Ireland and Morocco, and are eagerly awaiting interest from other Champions.

‘We have found the WorldSkills Champions to be hard working, fast learners and most of all, they have great personalities. We look forward to working with more of them.’

For more information about Dynamate or the Champions Exchange contact

Come to Calgary 2009

20 August 2008

Jack Dusseldorp (President of WorldSkills International) and Richard Walker (President and CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009) viewing the Australian National Competition, discussing skills competitions and extending a welcome to everyone worldwide to come to the 40th WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada in September 2009.

For over 60 video stories featuring competitors and experts from the WorldSkills Australia National Competition visit SkillsOne.


General Assembly 2008

20 August 2008

wein.jpg The WorldSkills General Assembly (GA), to be held in beautiful Vienna,  Austria in September this year promises to be a large, vibrant and productive event.  Running concurrently with the GA will be the WorldSkills Leaders Forum (WSLF) and the WorldSkills Youth Forum (WSYF).

The GA meeting schedule will include the meetings of WorldSkills International's Technical and Strategy Committees (comprised of the Technical and Official Delegates respectively, representing each WorldSkills Member Country/Region), along with the WorldSkills International General Assembly.

The WorldSkills Leaders Forum will feature keynote addresses from leading voices in government, industry and education throughout Europe. For more information on the WSLF please visit: