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On Wednesday, November 14th, the 39th WorldSkills Competition (WSC) and 7th International Abilympics (IA) kicked off with a bang at Granship in Shizuoka City. The event was a combination of cultural exchange and national pride for the numerous teams marching in.

With the Crown Prince in attendance, the event showcased Competitors from both the WSC and IA marching across the stage of the main hall of Granship, representing 61 countries/regions in total. The excitement level was high and you could feel the mix of emotions in the atmosphere of the Competitors who were anxiously looking forward to the days of Competition to follow. After the in march the Competitors took their seats and were addressed by several dignitaries including the Crown Prince.

Three Competitors and 3 Experts from the WSC were given the opportunity to represent the rest of the Competitors and Experts and take the Oath of integrity, impartiality, transparency and fairness. After the Opening Ceremony, the Competitors moved to an Exchange Reception, where Competitors from both Competitions and from all the countries/regions gathered together to share stories of their journey, their homes and themselves.

The Competitors enjoyed the night and were also finishing their mental preparation for the big days to come. The 39th WorldSkills Competition is officially open!

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4 March 2008

festival2.jpgNumazu City , who was also responsible for arranging the ‘One School One Country’ program, is putting a lot of heart and effort in to celebrating the fact that WorldSkills is in town. Among many initiatives Nu mazu City have taken the opportunity to welcome everyone by hosting a spectacular festival around City.

The Numazu Festival is spread over four different locations throughout November:

  • Kadoike Park
  • Imperial Villa Park
  • Numazu Port
  • Kiramesse Numazu (21st only for closing ceremony till 9:30pm)

festival3.jpgKadoike Park is located less than a minutes walk away from the Competition site and surrounds the beautiful “ Lake Kadoike ”. The area has been filled with exciting events including an International/Cultural Exchange Area and a food court that serves traditional dishes from Japan . In the Monozukuri area you can try your hand at origami, and wood and bamboo craft. In this area you can experience stage events, dance, taiko drums and pay special attention to the exchange event on November 17 & 18th. The Kadoike festival runs from November 15-18th from 9.00am-5.00pm. We recommend to everyone to spend some time in this warm atmosphere that has been arranged for the support of the WorldSkills event.

festival4.jpgThe festival ends with a big after party at Kiramesse Numazu where the Closing Ceremony takes place. The party will be held outside with a stage, food stands, souvenir shop and a bar surrounding a festival tower. This also involves the live broadcasting of the Closing Ceremony, Festival shops, a bar and Yosakoi dancer’s.

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oneschool1.jpg Just before the start of the WorldSkills Competition, Monday 12th November, Kanaoka Elementary School welcomed the Dutch Team members at their School. This welcome is part of the program “One School One Country” offered by Numazu City. Also the school will visit the WorldSkills Competition site to support the Team.

It was a great welcome starting with a lunch, each Dutch team member in a different class of the school, together with all the children. Every class prepared a few questions for each candidate and although the two languages would suggest that communicating was not really easy, the children and team members had a great time together, especially when one of the team members came into the school, dressed as a lion!

After lunch, the Dutch team was welcomed in the big school hall, where all 850 children where waiting for them to perform a beautiful program. The team marched into the impressive hall while Dutch flags were waving everywhere and a famous Dutch victory song was played.

All the children of Kanaoka Elementary School made music, song, spoke and danced at their best, an impressive and warm way of welcoming a team from the other side of the world. Moreover the school really took the effort in getting to know the Dutch culture and sharing some their Japanese to the Dutch team. An overwhelming and inspiring experience of which all the Team members said that they did not know how to express their feelings and how to tell people back home, what it actually meant. An experience they, and hopefully the Japanese children of Kanaoka Elementary School, will never forget for the rest of their lives. 

champpcard.jpgThe many excited and hopeful Competitors set their feet on to the grounds of the 39th WorldSkills Competition in Shizouka today. The WorldSkills Champions Exchange team will be on site to give the next generation a warm welcome.

WorldSkills Champions Exchange is being spread far and wide. 83 Competitors, past and present, have already lodged expressions of interest to participate in an exchange. With the Champions Exchange team due to begin their promotional campaign today.

Forming the Champions Exchange Team are former Competitors, Ben Irwin (Australia), Daniel Burpitt (UK), Kian Ann Tan (Singapore), Ross Wasson (Ireland), Cornelia Imser (Austria) and Younghoon Kim (Korea). The team will be stationed at the Competitors Village where they have the opportunity to talk with Competitors about exchange possibilities; they'll be hosting movie nights, leading guided walks and making sure the Exchange Lounge is booming chill-out tunes from i-pods attached to speaker sets.

If you're at the Competition, be sure to stroll through the Global Skills Village where you can meet the Champions Exchange Team - or look for the blue and white shirts darting around the Competition floor.

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By SpainSkills


The Vocational Training championship held in Madrid, Spain, organised by SpainSkills, took place from April 23 - 26, 2007. The four-day event had representatives from a number of autonomous communities competing in seven different skills:

  • Mechatronics,
  • Industrial Control,
  • Cooking,
  • Restaurant and Bar Services,
  • Car Painting,
  • Automobile Technology
  • Autobody Repair.

For the first time an industrial vehicle trade was present as a demonstration skill during SpainSkills.

It was a very successful championship, with young people from fifteen communities participating in the different skills.

During the competition, Mrs. Mercedes Cabrera, the Minister of Education and Science, honored us with her presence. Also present were the General Director of Education, Vocational Training and Educational Innovation, Mr Jose Luis Pérez Iriarte (Spain's Official Delegate for WorldSkills International) and the Deputy Director General for Vocational Education and Training, Mrs Soledad Iglesias (Spain's Technical Delegate for WorldSkills International).

Some of the objectives for this championship, were to emphasise the importance of promoting and developing VET, to encourage students and teachers to create bridges between experts in the labor world and the people involved in VET, and to make young people aware of the importance of being educated to enter the competitive labour world.

General Directors of Vocational Training or their representatives from the various communities visited the three venues where the Competition took place to lend their support. At the closing ceremony Mrs. Mercedes Cabrera presented the winners with gold medals. All the winners will be the Spanish representatives in Shizuoka, Japan in November 2007.

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