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China-UK WorldSkills Roadshows

30 March 2012

Boosting the Popularity of Global Skills In the World’s Most Populated Country

By Weiqun Yang, WorldSkills China

china_uk_1.jpg From 8 to 13 March, the China-UK WorldSkills Roadshows, a series of vocational education cooperation and exchange projects between two countries, were held in Guangzhou and Qingdao City in China. These projects were sponsored by the International Exchange Center (IEC) of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China (MOHRSS) and  the Cultural and Education Sections of British Embassy in China. The Guangzhou Industrial and Trade Technician College and the Qindao Technician College were responsible for providing the venue, facilities, equipment and material conditions for the skill shows. Ms Jenny Shackleton, Consultant to Team UK for the WorldSkills Competition and Mr Leipeng, the Vice Director of the IEC of the MOHRSS, co-chaired the events in the two cities over six days. This project opened a new chapter in the history of the UK vocational education exchange and cooperation with China and simultaneously promoted WorldSkills brand values across the world's most populated country.

Participants in the roadshows included five British and three Chinese Competitors who had won Gold, Bronze and Medallions of Excellence at WorldSkills Calgary 2009 or WorldSkills London 2011 in the skills of Web Design, Floristry, Electrical Installation, Mechanical Engineering Design - CAD and Graphic Design Technology. The two countries’ young people showed their excellent skills and shared successful experiences on the same stage. Using the WorldSkills Competition ‘Have a Go’ experience, students and teachers of vocational schools, business people and young spectators enjoyed the fun and charm of this global skills sharing experience.

UK WorldSkills Calgary 2009 medallist Joseph Massie demonstrates Floristry to Chinese students

China local news media (including newspapers and television) reported throughout the roadshow. In the media Ms Jenny Shackleton gave an overview of the WorldSkills Competition, as well as development trends in the skill competitions. Her evaluation of the Chinese team in last year's performance in London was excellent. The five Competitors from the UK talked about their WorldSkills entry experiences and insights as well as enjoying their warm welcome and attention whilst visiting enterprises and colleges.

China and the UK have both unanimously recognised that to achieve success at a Worldskills Competition there are four aspects:

  • Study the experience of others,
  • Ensure the reform of the curriculum and teaching,
  • Ensure a high level of team and skill guidance,
  • Ensure the combination of work and learning environments, particularly with facilities and equipment meeting international standards.

This roadshow has aroused keen interest among young people in China and will attract more and more college students to participate in WorldSkills China Team selections. China is expected to increase the number of Competitors from six in WorldSkills London 2011 to 24 in WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.

The next China-UK WorldSkills Roadshow will be held in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province and Chengdu City, Sichuan Province in September 2012.