25 August 2008
Icelandic National Youth Skills Competition 2008
The Icelandic National Youth Skills Competition was held on April 18-19, 2008. This was the fourth National Youth Skills Competition held in Iceland. This year’s competition saw several significant changes, including organisational changes, new skill categories and a longer competition. The competition received considerable media attention and attendance was very good.
The competition was launched by the Icelandic minister of industry, Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, who remarked on the importance of raising the profile of vocational education in Iceland and the important role of the national skills competition in that regard. Nearly 60 contestants competed in thirteen skill categories (ten in previous competitions).
The competition ran for two days instead of one day in previous years. This allowed for more elaborate test projects and a more thorough judging process. The stakes were higher for contestants this year, since Iceland has now become a full Member of both WorldSkills International (WSI) and the European Skills Promotion Organisation (ESPO), which organises the EuroSkills Competition. Winners in several skill categories will now prepare for the challenge of competing in these international competitions.
In the future, the Icelandic National Youth Skills Competition will be held biennially instead of annually. This will allow organisers to better plan the event to prepare Competitors for the prospect of taking part in larger international competitions. The competition is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Several trade organisations have expressed an interest in taking part in future competitions and the organisers already foresee the addition of at least three new skill categories in the next competition to be held in the spring of 2010.