4 July 2007
Portugal National Skills Competition
By: António Caldeira, Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional
In Portugal, the National Skills Competition (11-16 of March 2007) was inaugurated with a parade through the streets of the city of Portalegre. All competitors, members of the jury and guests invited to the opening ceremony participated in this parade. The reason behind all this festivities was to make the event known to the local population, while simultaneously whetting their appetite for a future visit. Thirty one occupations were represented where, for the first time, five of them were targeted at disabled people. During the four days of competition, several recreational and promotional events were created with the aim of increasing the impact on visitors and on the media.
The National Skills Competition set aside an area of approximately 200 m2 to provide information of the vocational education and training offered in Portugal and the European Union, as well as another area where visitors could try their hand at some of the tasks of the various occupations represented. Meetings were also held with the social partners and ‘Business Day’ was created. Given that Portalegre is an inland city, the more-than-7000 visitors largely exceeded expectations. Moreover, the event took on clearly national contours due to the massive presence of the media, namely those from all of the national television networks, including the cable stations.
Similar to the Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony of the National Skills Competition – Portalegre 2007, took place in a festive environment, presided over by the Secretary of State of Employment and Vocational Training. It was the culmination of a week in which the Portuguese were given the opportunity to come into contact with the 160 top professionals from the various skills represented in the competition and where they became conscious of the need for lifelong learning and the strategic importance of the qualification of human resources for national development.
The next step is to select 14 young people with suitable characteristics to represent Portugal in the 39th WorldSkills Competition – Shizuoka 2007, where they will compete in a highly demanding environment, on both a technical and behavioural level.
For more information please visit: portal.iefp.pt