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Winning Gold At The Skills Olympics

In a world where youth unemployment continues to rise it has never been more important to help people get technical and vocational training.

And that’s where the impressive Worldskills organisation comes in.

I was delighted to be invited by Worldskills to take part in their Skills Olympics competition in Abu Dhabi where I saw more than1,200 young people from 77 countries competing in more than 50 different skills.


It was so inspiring to see all these young people reaching for excellence across a wide range of skills from 3D printing and computer technology to bricklaying and hairdressing. Over four tough days of competition they demonstrated high levels of expertise in their chosen skills.

This army of hairdressers, landscape gardeners, builders, welders, carpenters, chefs, nurses, beauticians, plumbers, web designers all showed what the youth of the world are capable of once vocational and skills training is made available.

In the words of Worldskills President Simon Bartley:

“Our vision is to improve the world with the power of skills. Young people are more than capable of improving the world. We must train the people who will go on to help others transform their lives too”.


At the impressive Closing Ceremony in the du Arena on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island it was the Chinese team who topped the medals table with thirteen gold medals, with Switzerland placed second with eight golds, and Brazil third with seven.

In a stark contrast the three African teams from South Africa, Namibia and Zambia returned home empty handed. Clearly there is a big job to be done across Africa to give young people the skills they need to prosper. The continent needs to create ten million jobs a year simply to stand still.

In thirty years’ time Africa will have the world’s largest workforce, outstripping both China and India – but it will need a massive programme of vocational training if Africa is to become the workshop of the world.

Worldskills is an impressive organisation but it has a massive job to do.


Please click here for more information: www.worldskills.org 

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