SkillsUSA, the organization that represents the United States in the WorldSkills Competition, is sending 20 career and technical education students to Leipzig, Germany, to compete in 19 skill categories during the 42nd biennial international event July 2-7, 2013. This is the largest U.S. team ever assembled. The U.S. first entered international competition in 1975. The students will test their skills against more than 1,000 students representing over 60 countries and regions from around the world competing in 45 official skill competitions and one demonstration contest. There will be 5,000 international experts, delegates and judges, three thousand volunteers and 200,000 student and public spectators attending.
The WorldSkills Competition highlights a worldwide issue: preparation of a highly skilled workforce. Simon Field of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) stated in the book Learning for Jobs, “Increasingly, countries are recognizing that good initial vocational education and training has a major contribution to make to economic competitiveness. The wealth of nations will come to rely more on the skills of their people than on other sources such as natural resources.”
“WorldTeam will meet and compete in Germany with young workers from all around the globe and the team will represent our country well,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA. “And, just as in sports competitions, winning contestants will be awarded medals and honors. But, the difference between this and sports is that nations rise on the success of their workforce. Skilled, capable and flexible workers are the backbone of any nation’s economy and this competition highlights that fact.”
The WorldSkills Competition (WSC)
SkillsUSA is a member of WorldSkills International (WSC) headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This organization sponsors the biennial WorldSkills Competition (WSC). Participation in the WSC has provided a vehicle for comparing our career and technical students and methods of training with that of our major market competitors. The training technologies displayed at the WSC exemplify the ultimate standard in skilled workforce preparation. As such, they offer important lessons for technical instructors and for SkillsUSA’s corporate partners, whose productivity depends on employees with up-to-date skills. WSC results are one of the benchmarks by which a country’s global economic competitiveness can be judged.
WorldSkills was founded in 1950 and currently has members from 48 countries, with efforts constantly being made to expand the membership. In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon recognized SkillsUSA (then known as VICA) as the official organization representing the United States. Only one organization may represent a country in the official delegation and certify that country’s international contestants. To learn more about the WorldSkills Competition, go to http://www.worldskills.org.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor