Skip to main content

14 October 2017

#SkillsForAll winner lands in Abu Dhabi to chronicle the 44th WorldSkills Competition

The winner of the #SkillsForAll video contest - and the official blogger for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 - has arrived in the UAE capital to chronicle the story of the behind-the-scenes excitement as the world’s largest and most prestigious skills competition enters its final countdown. 

Jacob Dawson, a young vocational skills champion from New Zealand, was selected as the winner of the #SkillsForAll World Youth Day social media competition this summer after his humorous but inspiring clip – in which he outlines how a devotion to hard work and pursuing his ambitions is now seeing him reap the rewards of perfecting a skill – impressed the panel of judges.

He overcame stiff competition - entrants from 24 countries submitted 70 videos showcasing their creative talents and vision - to be selected as the overall winner, and will now have free rein to go behind the scenes at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 as its official video blogger, capturing the essence of what it takes to stage the competition and telling the stories of the people who make it happen.

Landing in Abu Dhabi this week, Jacob has hit the ground running, and has already filmed a humorous two-minute video chronicling his 19-hour journey from New Zealand to the UAE capital as he prepares to capture the essence of the 44th World Skills Competition, taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 15-18 October.  

"WorldSkills have brought me all the way here to tell the story of the Competition from my point of view - and in the way I want to tell it,” he explained. "I will be filming and uploading five video blogs while I am here, so viewers will be able to experience the WorldSkills' event from my point of view - as it happens."

Fresh off the plane, Jacob first impression of the UAE capital has been the warmer climates compared to his home country. 

"I haven't seen much of the country yet, but the first thing I noticed when I walked out the airport door was the heat!” he said. “In New Zealand you stay inside to keep warm - here in the United Arab Emirates, it is the complete opposite: you stay inside to keep cool!"

Winning the opportunity to be WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017’s blogger has left Jacob “hugely excited", as he says: "When I started video blogging this year, I had no idea it would take me all the way to Abu Dhabi. I am just excited to get started."

One of the largest and most complex events ever to be hosted in the UAE capital, the competition will see approximately 1,300 competitors from more than 70 countries compete in 51 skills, ranging from Floristry to Mobile Robotics to Welding.

 *You can follow his behind-the-scenes footage at