Message from Helena André - Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity
Lisbon should be congratulated for being chosen as the European capital that will host thousands of young people, judges and experts who will participate in the European Professions Competition/EuroSkills Lisboa 2010, the largest international event involving vocational training ever held in Portugal.
The fact that Portugal was chosen to organize EuroSkills Lisboa 2010 is well deserved recognition for its founding role in the international professions competitions together with Spain in 1950, the country where the first international competitions were held with 24 competitors and 12 professions. It is also a recognition of the active role played in improving its education and training systems.
Sixty years later we are commemorating this occasion with Portugal hosting this important competition in which hundreds of young professionals from all over Europe will demonstrate their skills in a competitive environment. Without a doubt it will be an event that values vocational training and involves all of its main stakeholders to show other young people, teachers, educators, businesspeople and society in general the importance of vocational training, whether it be for personal life projects or the growth of a competitive society.
I wish all the contestants, judges and members of the organization the best of luck so that EuroSkills Lisboa 2010 can reach all of its targets and be a memorable event.
Chairman of the Steering Committee of the IEFP
EUROSKILLS, LISBOA 2010 - VALORISING PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
2010 will be a historic year for Portugal with respect to its intervention and dedication in the area of qualification and vocational training policies. Indeed, the Lisbon strategy will celebrate its 10th anniversary. On the other hand, regarding the profession championships, Portugal will celebrate its 60th year of participation in WorldSkills International. Such events are at the base of the candidature of Portugal to the organisation of EuroSkills (European professions championship), developed under the European Skills Promotion Organization of which Portugal is also a founding member.
Portugal and the city of Lisbon, from 09th to 12th December 2010, will host the second edition of EuroSkills, which will draw together some 500 young competitors which, at a European level, will demonstrate, in the approximately 50 professions under competition, that they are the most competent and that, therefore, they are present to represent the best in matters of professional qualification at a European level.
The realisation of EuroSkills, Lisboa 2010 is, hence, a manifestation of the young people who have made qualification an essential condition for the construction of their life's project. They have focused on training in areas where professional competences are a necessary condition for their successful insertion in the labour market.
Thus, the young people of 31 countries of the European continent will meet in Lisbon, representing people dedicated to achieving excellence and that, in a healthy competition, will demonstrate the quality of the vocational training they have attended or of the profession they exercise and the potential they show to build a project with a future.
EuroSkills, Lisboa 2010, will also be a place of meeting for young people, trainers, teachers, professionals and businesspersons who, together, will show, in an atmosphere of festivity, the contribution of professions and vocational training to the competitiveness and development of Europe.
EuroSkills, Lisboa 2010, in addition to the professions under competition and an area reserved for information and the vocational guidance of many young people will also be an meeting area for technical staff, trainers, teachers and the people in charge of the educational-training policies of the whole of Europe, where it is expected that a series of parallel events will be held on these subjects. The aim is to show the capacity and potential of the traditional professions and new professions based on technology for the construction of a renewed image of the social status of vocational training and of the values inherent to work, promoting the recognition of the professionalising routes as a necessary condition for access to the world of work.
We agree that it will only be through the enhancement of Human Capital that we can be stronger in the world in which we live. In Lisbon we will have the opportunity to see that there are many young people who work on a daily basis towards our improvement. And the fact that this comes from young people can only increase our hope. In short, learning is rewarding.
Jos de Goey
ESPO (EuroSkills Promotion Organization)
The first ever Europe-wide skills competition was organised in Rotterdam in September 2008. The event was closely organized with the members of the European Skills Promotion Organization (ESPO) in which 31 countries participate. Most of the National Skills Organisations are already involved in the WorldSkills International organisation where they contribute to the success of the WorldSkills event. This experience was gained on a global level within WorldSkills and helped the European network to make the EuroSkills event a success. At the same time it helped the development of skills organisations from countries which do not participate (yet) on a global level.
The European commission supports the initiative in the framework of the Copenhagen process on enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET). The EuroSkills event is seen by the European commission as a practical and constructive means to raise the image and quality of VET-systems in Europe, and their attractiveness, particularly among young people and their parents. It is also a way to promote excellence and to recognise the talents of best trainees and graduates. The EC's Helsinki communiqué from 2006 called for improvement of the attractiveness and quality of VET by, among others, developing and highlighting excellence in skills, for example by applying world class standards or organising skills competitions. The Bordeaux Communiqué in November 2008 confirmed the priority given to the issue of the attractiveness of VET.
The European participation in WorldSkills International is strong and since its existence a lot of European candidates, experts and volunteers contributed to the success of WorldSkills. Due to this, ESPO and WorldSkills International work closely together to further develop their activities and to strengthen and enlarge the skills movement in the world. In Calgary a record number of candidates will participate. Nearly 50% are coming from Europe and represent their respective country. Through national selection they already have found their talent and can master their skill. Regardless the outcome of the competition they have their future in their own hands and are skills ambassadors for the future.
After the WorldSkills competition in Calgary, the European members will focus on the next EuroSkills competition in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2010. Following the results from 2008, the event will have an extra dimension due to the fact that the initiative of organising international skills competitions was developed in Spain and Portugal. Next year it is 60 years ago that this took place and therefore we are looking forward to return to Lisbon by saying that Skills competitions are coming home again. On behalf of the Board and members of ESPO we wish all candidates, experts and all those involved in the organisation all the best in the competitions, to make WorldSkills 2009 a celebration for skills.
Together with Skills Portugal we hope to see you all in Lisbon, Portugal next year!