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oc1.jpgOn 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.

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15 November 2007

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 Numazu City have taken the opportunity to welcome everyone by hosting a spectacular festival around City.

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oneschool1.jpgJust 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.

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Contributed by: Skills Netherlands

The third edition of Skills Masters, the Dutch Skills Championships, was held in March 2007 and was bigger than ever; more visitors, more exhibitors and more entertainment. And above all, there was ‘breaking news’ concerning the ongoing development of EuroSkills, the pan-European skills event held in 2008 also in the venue Ahoy (Rotterdam). During Skills Masters the European Skills Promotion Organisation (ESPO) was officially inaugurated. Jos de Goey, Managing Director of Skills Netherlands was appointed the first President of ESPO. The main objectives of this new organisation are the further development and coordination of the upcoming and future EuroSkills events. More than a hundred and fifty special guests, including WorldSkills International delegates and representatives of European countries interested in joining EuroSkills attended the ESPO Founding Meeting and also visited the EuroSkills Preview. At this first trial of EuroSkills 2008, demonstrations of teamwork and integrated competitions were given in the sectors Construction Technology, Manufacturing Technology, Refrigeration Technology, Automotive Technology and Graphic Media.

Unique opportunity

Skills Masters has proven that its formula of bringing together national skills competitions, vocational education institutes and employers is an attractive one for youngsters of 14 – 20 years of age. For them, Skills Masters is a unique opportunity to experience modern trades and to get informed about their future education and jobs. The key to success in this is the combination of seeing skills competitions & demonstrations, participating in hands-on activities and finally gaining information from sector organisations, schools and employees.

Almost twenty five thousand people visited Skills Masters, of which the majority were recruited by special educational programmes. Besides there was free transport from schools to the Ahoy exhibition centre in Rotterdam.

European approach

In the past few months almost all European countries have shown serious interest in participating in EuroSkills 2008. To secure a truly European approach, a strong network of Skills organisations in Europe is a necessity. ESPO will establish that network and shall support its members in their preparatory work for EuroSkills. These and other, more promotional, activities are financed by the European Commission (Directorate-general Education and Culture) as part of its Lifelong Learning programme. At the founding meeting in Rotterdam an Executive Board was also established, in addition to Jos de Goey (The Netherlands) the following members; Eija Alhojarvi (Finland), Stefan Praschl (Austria), Kevin Woods (UK) and Antonio Caldeira (Portugal) joined the Executive Board. In the coming months ESPO will start its first activities, after finalising legal and financial affairs.

For more information please visit: and

Contributed by: WorldSkills France

From 28-31 of March, 2007, WorldSkills France organised its national competition in Amiens, the capital of the Picardy region.

673 young men and women from all regions of France participated in this competition which served as the selection process for the French Skills Team, which will compete in Shizuoka, Japan in November 2007.

During the three days, 60,000 visitors, mainly students who are looking for careers advice, came to Amiens to encourage the young competitors and to discover skill occupations like tiler, joiner, jeweller or still solderer. 48 professions were represented during the competition in all!

Here are a few figures from French Skills Competition in Amiens:

  • 6 days to set up the site
  • 17 000 m2 of competition surface
  • 17 high schools and 20 education centres mobilised for the Skills Competition organisation in Picardy
  • 485 juries, including 50 jury presidents
  • 1 000 volunteers to organise the competition
  • 21 working hours during 3 days
  • 4 000 lunches served per day
  • 1 profession in demonstration: blacksmith’s job

For more information please visit: