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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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ukskills_euro.jpgOnly a month ago the country was celebrating the success of Team GB in Beijing, but now another UK team has picked up medals in an international competition. A team of 16 young people achieved eight gold medals at the first ever EuroSkills, a three day competition in skills ranging from farriery to cleaning.

EuroSkills is a new, pan-European, skills competition which was this year held from 18th-20th September in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Watched by around 40,000 spectators, the 400 competitors from 29 countries competed in 25 different competitions covering 49 different vocational skills.

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euroskills.jpgEuroSkills 2008 Tremendous Success

The first edition of EuroSkills in Ahoy Rotterdam has been a tremendous success. From 18–20 September almost 27.000 youths visited the largest vocational event of Europe to learn about many trades and educations that can be followed in vocational education. In the meantime they supported 415 international candidates. With this newsletter we would like to inform you about results of participants, events and success stories of EuroSkills 2008.

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wsa_logo.jpgSeptember has been an extremely busy month for the team at WorldSkills Australia with perhaps the most important task being the thorough evaluation of the National competition medallists with a view to selection of the Team Australia Skillaroos for the 40th WorldSkills Competition in Calgary, Canada next year. September also marked the ‘1 year to go’ milestone for the competition in Canada and following the confirmation of competition categories by WorldSkills International, WorldSkills Australia is now in a position to select our team. An official announcement will be made on the 6th of November.

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