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International contacts are made at Global Skills Village

In connection with the WorldSkills Competition, Global Skills Village is organized this year for the first time. Its purpose is to work as an international meeting point for those who operate with vocational education and training, vocational skills competitions and professional know-how. The WorldSkills Competition gathers international groups of people interested in vocational skills, such as teachers, both industry and labour market organisations, and other representatives from working life. The Global Skills Village is a unique place to make connections with the professionals of vocational skills of other countries.

The idea of Global Skills Village was born from the cooperation of Skills Finland and UK Skills in spring about a year ago. “The task as a contest organiser was challenging and interesting for Finland, as we had the chance to plan the whole concept almost from nothing. Our basic idea is to create and offer a forum for presenting and changing experiences and thoughts between the WorldSkills members and other parties.” says project manager Kati Lundgren. The intention is to make Global Skills Village a permanent additional event for the competition.        

Almost 20 countries have reserved a stand from the heart of the event, from the International Village. The setting is comprehensive – there are exhibitors as far as from Jamaica, South-Korea and Malaysia. In addition Finnish Board of Education and European Commission have their own stands. “The member countries will present among other things their country’s vocational education and training and professional know-how activities. During a day you can make an excursion to 17 member countries by visiting the exhibition stands.” illustrates Ms Lundgren.

In addition there are altogether 17 seminars or conversation forums organised during the four days. The events are in Finnish, English and Swedish. The seminars, which are open to public, compare the systems of vocational training in different countries, describe the cooperation of schools and companies and skill demands of renewing working life, and discuss about sustainable development and occupational safety.

You do not have to be an expert of vocational training to visit the Global Skills Village. There are things to see and experience for all public. There is also a stage, which offers cultural based numbers. Shows that are mostly organised by student groups, offer music, dance, fashion shows, circus performances and Robotics demonstrations. 

The opening of the Global Skills Village is held on Thursday 26th May at noon. The speakers in the opening are EU Commissar Mr Ján Figel’, Minister of Education Ms Tuula Haatainen, Director General Ms Kirsi Lindroos and the President of the WorldSkills Organisation Mr Jack Düsseldorp.

Further information:
Ms Kati Lundgren, Skills Finland
Project Manager, Coordinator of Global Skills Village, Tel. +358 50 572 7771

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Updated 28.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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