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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:

WorldSkills conducted its first ever WorldSkills Youth Forum (WSYF) for a select group of past Competitors in conjunction with the General Assembly (GA) and WorldSkills Leaders Forum in Melbourne, Australia from May 6-11, 2006.

WSYF_1.jpg The WSYF objectives are to actively encourage and support the growth of past Competitor alumni networks and associated youth activities within WorldSkills International and its Member organisations and to widen and deepen the effectiveness of WorldSkills International in line with its vision and mission. 

In terms of engaging our Competitors within the WorldSkills movement, and providing a forum in which their voices may be effectively heard, celebrated, and acted upon, the WSYF is a key event in the WorldSkills International calendar. We encourage all WorldSkills Members to select and send past Competitors to represent the voice of your skilled youth in Vienna.

Preparations for WSYF2008 are well under way. The theme for this year's Youth Forum is ‘WorldSkills Champions on the World Stage' and all the topics relate directly back to the 6 overall Action Plan goals - Releasing the full WorldSkills potential (EN, DE, FR), adopted by the GA in Shizuoka 2007. The final topics will be released soon.

WSYF_2.jpg Skills Austria has done a great job in finding the best locations for the  Champions. They will have opportunities to work in a creative environment surrounded by the beautiful gardens of the Springer Schlössl. The hotel is located just a 5 minute walk from the charming Schönbrunn Palace.

Skills Austria has activated registration for the WSYF on the GA2008 website and a detailed schedule will soon be made available.

We have set up a discussion forum dedicated to sharing ideas, suggestions and feedback between the WSYF delegates as well as other past Champions that are unable to come to Vienna. We also welcome participation from the delegates from the WSYF2006, to discuss with the WSYF2008 delegates the outcomes and final report of the last WSYF. The forum is accessible at .

We can't wait to share more information with you. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me: or visit where we will add frequent updates regarding the WSYF

By Skills/Compétences Canada


The Canadian Skills Competition is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country. Every year, the event brings together approximately 500 young people from all regions of Canada, along with their parents and advisors, to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas. The competition provides an opportunity for young Canadians studying a skilled trade or technology to be tested against exacting standards and against their peers from across the nation.  Students vie to win the honour of being crowned the best in their chosen discipline.

This 14th Canadian Skills Competition was a very special event, as it was a culmination of an incredible journey for many young Canadians vying for a place on Team Canada so that they can represent their country at the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 event.

CN_33.jpg The competition was the final major event of the year which completed a series of Pan Canadian activities designed to expose Canadian youth to trade and technology career options.  It brought together representatives from education, government, labour, business and industry who all believe that a career in trades and technology is a great first choice for our youth.  It also gathered many visitors from around the world representing WorldSkills International, the Executive Board and other dignitaries.  They were in Calgary as the national competition was the lead-up to the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Competition which will be held at the very same venue, Stampede Park, Calgary Alberta September 1-6, 2009.  Canada will welcome 1,000 competitors from 50 WorldSkills Member countries/regions (representing 23 languages) to showcase their skills and demonstrate their abilities. 

As a Member of WorldSkills International, Skills/Compétences Canada looks forward to welcoming over 150,000 spectators to WorldSkills Calgary 2009 and introducing the world to Team Canada.

"For more than a decade we have carried the trade and technology message to Canadian youth and we are very proud of the achievements of our competitors, trainers and experts.  With this history of success we look forward to the future with great anticipation and optimism." says Terry Cooke, President of Skills/Compétences Canada.


WorldSkills International (WSI) visited Calgary, Alberta, Canada to get a progress report on the preparations for the 40th WorldSkills Competition which is coming to Calgary in September of 2009. Accompanied by six of their seven Global Partners, WSI was delighted to see that Calgary is right on track to host the biggest skills competition in the world. Jack Dusseldorp, President of WorldSkills International delivered an inspiring speech about the importance of the WorldSkills movement and how Calgary is going to bring the WorldSkills Champions to the world stage.

Tjerk Dusseldorp

"WorldSkills Calgary 2009 will be a celebration for skills success and a clarion call to countries everywhere to engage their young people in skilled futures. The WorldSkills International Executive Board is here to sign off on whether Calgary is ready to host WorldSkills Calgary 2009. The answer is simple, it is a resounding YES! Calgary is all set to go," said Jack Dusseldorp, President of WSI.

Watch Jack Dusseldorp's speech



Menno Vanderlist, a Silver medallist from Team Canada 2005 for IT/PC Network Support and the Best of Nation award recipient in Helsinki, Finland attended the media conference.

Menno Vanderlist "Competing in these environments, gives you the chance to meet people you'd normally never meet; you get to see other skills and trades exposed; seeing in action the people that keep the world running. As a competitor you don't have time to second guess what you're doing; you have to do it right the first time. I am proud to say that WorldSkills and Skills Canada helped shape my future; allowing me to compete where excellence is the standard - forcing me to think outside the box," remarked Menno Vanderlist.

Watch Menno Vanderlist's Speech



The WorldSkills movement and inspiring of the young Champions would not be possible without the seven Global Partners: Autodesk, Cisco Systems, Draka, Festo, Fluke, Fluke Networks, and Samsung Electronics. David Green, Chairman of the Global Partner Team for WSI, was present to express the importance of developing the skilled workforce through competition environments.

David Green "The next couple of years are going to be critical in skills and workforce development. This time around WorldSkills Calgary 2009 gives us Global Partners an opportunity to work with and support WorldSkills and WorldSkills Calgary 2009 teams and work towards a milestone to check on how we are all doing in addressing these issues and in particular showing the world what the young people and future skilled professionals are doing... and that the future truly is in good hands. There is no economy without skilled workers," says Mr. Green.

Watch David Green's Speech



Nearly 1,000 competitors representing 50 member countries/regions are expected to compete in 48 skills and technology based events from September 1-6, 2009.

Guy Mallabone, Chairman of the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Board of Directors noted,

Guy Mallabone "leading international corporations and "Captains of Industry" are supporting the WorldSkills International movement. Together, collaboratively, along with the WorldSkills International organisation, we are bringing human capital solutions to the international community, and to our own back yard here in Calgary, Alberta, and Canada. WorldSkills Calgary 2009 will help change perceptions - and reinforce the pride in a career in the skills trades and technology fields.

Watch Guy Mallabone's Speech 



 Download this document as a Press Release Download this Press Release

By Mikaeli Costello

NJ_0.jpg Sweden and the United Kingdom might both form part of the European Community, but for 2003 WorldSkills Champion, Nigel Dunlop, life in Oskarshamn, nestled in Sweden's south, is a world apart from his hometown in Northern Ireland. For starters, he no longer jumps in his car and listens to the radio as he travels to work, instead he mounts his bicycle and pedals 10 minutes in near-freezing temperatures to begin his day as an Electrician at DynaMate.

DynaMate, owned by Swedish commercial truck and bus company, Scania, specialises in production and facilities maintenance for industrial customers in Sweden and is Oskarshamn's largest employer - boasting more than 2000 employees. It has a further two plants in the middle and northern parts of Sweden.

Nigel, a Mechatronics Champion, has a strong background in both electrical and mechanical engineering and has spent the last few years building on his engineering skills. Part of his compulsion to take part in the WorldSkills Champions Exchange program was to expand on his electrical skills, a challenge he's so committed to he's even been working overtime to learn as much as he possibly can during his six-month placement.

‘As I'm becoming more familiar with my new workplace, I'm wanting to learn more about the electrical aspects of skill and really take advantage of the opportunities at DynaMate. I've been going in on Saturdays to help out a colleague, so I can watch, learn from and assist him as much as possible.'

During the past few months Nigel has been making the most of opportunities to integrate with locals in the small Swedish town. He's joined the company gym, started playing badminton and found himself a big fan of ice hockey, attending all of his local team's ‘home' games.

And like any foreigner living in a new country, Nigel too has encountered his share of challenges.

‘I started a language course in December to help me with my Swedish, and as most of the machines technical descriptions are in Swedish, it's taken some time to get my head around things. It's certainly a challenge, but all my co- workers speak very good English and are always on-hand to help out when I need it.'

And so, what's in store for Nigel at the end of his 6 month placement?

‘Knowing what a great opportunity I've been given here in Sweden, and now that I've taken the first step in my global career, I can't see myself returning back to Northern Ireland any time soon. I'm talking with DynaMate about extending my contract, perhaps working in another of their plants... or I might even try another country. Anything's possible at this stage.'

For more information please about the WorldSkills Champions Exchange program, contact the WorldSkills Champions Exchange Coordinator: