22 November 2010
The best Nationals ever!
By WorldSkills Norway
The Norwegian National Competition in vocational skills, recently took place at the Olympic Village/City of Lillehammer, some 200 km north of Oslo. It was a great success with about 240 Competitors from all over Norway competing in 28 skill areas. More than 15000 visitors were impressed by the level of the competitions, and many young students and parents were amazed by the many opportunities that a vocational education offer.
The Nationals was not only a competition but also an educational exhibition. The target group for the arrangement was first of all young students aged 15 – 17 and their parents and teachers. All the 12 vocational education programs in the Norwegian educational system were presented and demonstrated during the three day event.
The whole event started with a fine Opening Ceremony which included speeches and entertainment. Her Royal Highness, The Crown Princess, Mette-Marit was there, and gave a speech to the Competitors. She emphasised the importance of vocational education for a welfare state. She also said that these Nationals are very important for increasing the status of the vocational education in Norway. She praised the Competitors for their achievement, for their braveness and for being role models for others. She claimed that the Skill Team of Norway is much more important than any other Norwegian teams, including the Norwegian Soccer Team!
The Opening was conducted by the CEO of Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, Mr. John G. Bernander. He also emphasised the importance of vocational education and using skill competitions as a method of promoting skills excellence. ‘Competitions produce the best in us, they create a culture of winning and good role models for students and teachers’, he claimed. He also mentioned that in six years time we might welcome everyone to WorldSkills Lillehammer!
The 28 skill areas represented were; Mechatronics, Welding, Electrician, CNC, Telecommunication, Car Painting, Autobody Repair, Automobile Technology, Floristry, Construction Driver (three different skills), Landscape Gardening, Floristry, Fashion, Cabinetmaking, Plumbing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Tinsmithing, Caring, Children and Youth worker, Graphic Design, Cooking, Restaurant Service, Pastry, Meatcutting and Seafood-production.
The Competitors were nominated for the Nationals via local and regional competitions, and the whole country has been involved for a long time. In many of the skills, the Competitors for both EuroSkills 2010 and WorldSkills London 2011 have been nominated through the Nationals.
The Norwegian Minister of Education, Mrs. Kristin Halvorsen, visited the event. She was impressed by the Competitors and the event, and she learned some new things; what kind of skill Mechatronics is and what it is used for, how it is possible to compete in Caring and how a newly painted car bonnet should feel like. She closed the event by giving out medals to the winners in each skill. She did such a great job that she should have received a gold medal in this skill! More than 1000 people attended the Closing Ceremony.
Throughout the whole event 40 – 50 Master’s students from Lillehammer University College – created online videos from the event. All the videos can be watched here.
Graphic design for the event was produced by students from a local school, and all food served for the Competitors and Experts was cooked and served by local apprentices.
For more information visit WorldSkills Norway.