Before starting my internship at CC Skills and INSSO, I had never heard of WorldSkills - an international skills competition with young people from across the globe competing to be the best of the best in their chosen skill.
It's truly impressive: 150,000 expected visitors will see 1,000 Competitors from more than 50 countries/regions competing in 46 skill areas over four exciting days of Competition.
I went along on Friday and it is absolutely mind-blowing. The huge Excel center has been taken over by young people demonstrating their skills in stonemasonry, hair-dressing, cooking, confectionery, landscape gardening, graphic design, information technology and many many more!!! You can walk around and literally stare while these young kids compete with each other to win top the gold medal.
A few observations:
*huge gender divide - many more men than women competing, even in stereotypically women roles - hairdressing, jewellery design, cooking etc. It seems that young men are more encouraged to participate in this competition than women or maybe the girls haven't even heard about it ... this must change and it would be wonderful to see more girls at the competition in 2013.
*not many african or central/south american countries represented. There were a lot from Asia and the Middle East but not many from Central Africa or America Latina - let's get the word out there and get them involved!
I really recommend keeping your eye out for WorldSkills competition, especially if you work in education or with young people as it's a great event to be involved with..
The grand FINALE...... http://www.worldskills.org/index.php?option=com_wstv&catid=1&Itemid=708&pg=0&vid=875