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Skills Finland: Success through learning from each other

Success through learning from each other

Skills Finland participate in the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme “Excellence in Skills” – an international comparison of training and expert exchange project

The European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme enables people in all stages of their lives to take part in inspiring and stimulating learning experiences, as well as helping to develop the education and training sector across Europe.

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Riding the elephant

The WorldSkills International (WSI) General Assembly in Kingston, Jamaica, marked many milestones for WSI – the election of your new President and Board of Directors. The induction of the world’s most populous nation into your membership (China became WSI’s 53rd Member country/region), and the presentation and ratification of a new 10 year plan.

There is a strong emotional connection to this organisation that is felt by many thousands of people the world over.

Those of us who have caught the ‘WorldSkills bug’ come back time and again, putting personal and professional lives on hold for what could be several weeks at a time, in service to this great organisation and its development of tomorrows’ youth.

I’ve recently been reading a book called Switch, about dealing with change. It’s given me great context for my current work and I thought it would also be helpful for what I’d like to say in this post.

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Medal your Potential

I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and creating something where there was nothing. To have a tangible piece of work which was mine. When I was still at school I liked the challenge of trying new methods and tools to develop and change my “work” – it was just a hobby, mucking around, but I loved it.

This passion grew within me up until my last two years in high school where I got the opportunity to attend vocational training classes in my field. It was new and exciting to be finally learning in a more structured way about something I had been interested in all my life and know that this is where I wanted to be.

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How a WorldSkills Competition made him grow up

We, Mono Zukuri Vocational Research Institute LLP in Japan, conducted an interview with Mr. Katsuya Yamazaki, the silver medalist of Construction Metal works of WorldSkills Calgary 2009. We learned much regarding how the vocational training and competition made him grow up.

I did not feel nervous at WorldSkills Competition. I managed to keep my motivation up for best performance. The environmental conditions at the workplace including the brightness offered by the ceiling lights and the quality of the floor were not better than expected. But I was not anxious about the proceeding of competition.

The hard vocational training which was starting from early morning to late night weekday with young colleagues selected by his company, Hitachi, Ltd., had continued for about 3 years. He sometimes felt exhausted for the duration of his training but did not think to quit it because he took this experience as an opportunity for development of his skill and mind.
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Honouring the past and launching the future

An abridged version of my speech at the commencement of our 60th Anniversary General Assembly meeting in Kingston.

Dear Colleagues, dear friends

Tribute to our founder

In 1946  Francisco Albert Vidal began a voyage of discovery entrusted to him by the head of Spain’s National Youth Organization, with the mission to;

Fill youth with enthusiasm through special action! Convince young people’s parents, trainers and company chiefs that a promising future is possible only through good vocational education.

And so the first international vocational training competition took place in Madrid in 1950 between Spain and Portugal attended by observers from around Europe. The “Youth Skill Olympics” was born, and became Albert Vidal’s life’s work. First, as Secretary General for 33 years, and a further 7 years as President. He shaped our organization into the remarkable world-wide movement that it is today, and passionately espoused its values which we proudly continue to uphold. Values such as;

  • supporting all our Members to compete on a level playing field.
  • enabling all our young competitors to do their best without regard to their gender, nationality, or religion.
  • embracing  excellence, innovation and creativity, and a respect for the diversity of languages and cultures.

Our WorldSkills values define the spirit of WorldSkills. A spirit, that I believe, is stronger than ever in our rapidly growing WorldSkills family.

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