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WorldSkills 2020 Vision

Jack Dusseldorp

Christine Scoot  interviewed President Jack Dusseldorp after the WorldSkills Board meeting in Madrid on 11 & 12 July 2010.

Christine: You look very pleased Jack. Good news?

Jack: Yes, indeed! It’s been a particular pleasure to meet here in Madrid on the occasion of WorldSkills 60th Anniversary in the place where our organization was founded, and just at the moment when the World Cup was decided and the winning team welcomed home. What an incredible celebration of global sporting excellence!

So what has the meeting achieved?

We’ve had a very productive couple of days, with members of the Working Group attending as well as our Spanish colleagues. And we’ve put the final touches to our 2020 vision and plan to be presented to the General Assembly in Jamaica for us to achieve our new broader mission.

What do you mean by WorldSkills’ new broader mission?

At the last GA in Calgary the Members considered a report and a number of recommendations about developing the WorldSkills brand. There was general agreement among the Members that we should extend our role beyond the Competition to include advocacy and education. In other words, ensuring that WorldSkills is not seen simply as an organisation that runs a large skills event every two years, but is seen and valued for what it is; a growing global movement of people and organisations actively engaged in championing skills across the world.

So advocacy and education means doing more of the sort things that the WorldSkills Leaders Forum and Youth Forum aim to achieve?

Precisely. There are lots of creative things we can do to advance the WorldSkills cause around the world as well as attract more recognition and support for the Competition.

But won’t that take resources and focus away from developing and improving the Competition?

This is the dilemma we face with our existing organisational structure. We like the idea of doing more advocacy and education work, but not at the expense of the Competition.  The Competition, as we’ve all agreed, is our core business, and so anything that detracts from that has the potential for being seen to draw away interest and resources from that business.

So what’s the solution to the dilemma?

After Calgary, we brought together a number of our Members into a Board Working Group to harness their collective wisdom. We’ve met three times since Calgary as well as working online.  And after considering a number of alternatives we concluded the best solution was to create a separate body, a WorldSkills Foundation, to take up the advocacy and education work as a separate but complementary role to the Competition.

But won’t that mean that the WorldSkills Foundation will be competing with WorldSkills International for the same sponsorship support ?

I think the opposite will be the case.  We currently have eight Global Industry Partners who provide WorldSkills with financial and in-kind resources to both improve the Competition as well as to conduct activities like the WorldSkills Leaders Forum. These Partners want to see WorldSkills develop into a skills movement and realise that only focusing on the Competition won’t get us there. So they are happy to support both the Competition and associated activities that will now be taken up by the Foundation.

And it’s likely some existing and potential Partners will be even more interested in the Foundation’s activities than in the Competition.

Exactly. So by creating the Foundation as a separate legal entity we will be able to enter into relationships with other organisations around shared goals and objectives that our existing membership structure and statutes don’t permit.

Can you give an example of how such new relationships will benefit the WorldSkills cause and the Competition?

There’s a current example where a university in Finland is doing research on the young people who perform well in the international competitions to find out how the Finnish skills system can be improved for all VET students.  The WorldSkills Foundation will be ideally placed to share this knowledge with all our Members – all for the price of translating the research from Finnish into English – as well as to interest universities in other Member countries to conduct their own research.

But who would run the Foundation and how would this affect the operations of WorldSkills International?

The Foundation will have its own Board of Trustees, with representation from the WorldSkills Members in our four main regions of the world, as well as cross-board representation with WSI through the offices of the President and CEO.  So the operations and budget of WSI will remain entirely unaffected by the Foundation.

Will the Foundation have its own CEO?

As the Foundation will be focused on sponsored projects and educational activities, it’s not envisaged that it will need a CEO as such, but rather someone to coordinate the communication of the various self managing Project Leaders to the Board of the Foundation.  These Project Leaders will manage the agreed projects aligned to the Foundation’s and WSI’s common vision and mission.

What would be an example of such a common interest?

Vocational education and training is poorly developed on the African continent, with few African countries participating in WorldSkills. At least one of our provisional Partners is very keen for the Foundation to help change this for the better. As, of course, are all our Members and stakeholders.

Where will the Foundation be located?

Every legal entity must have a physical location. WorldSkills International is located in the Netherlands, and in the case of the Foundation, Spain has offered to host it in Madrid and provide the office of Secretary.  This is an extremely generous offer from the founding Member of WSI, and they, along with WSI, will be the two legal co-founders of the WorldSkills Foundation.

Does that mean that Spain will have an equal say to WSI in running the Foundation?

No. WSI will be the majority partner and have the ultimate say over the Foundation, but its Board of Trustees will decide about it’s program of activity. As I mentioned, the Members of WSI will be represented on the Board of the Foundation, as will individual Member Organizations who wish to become active Partners alongside other interested bodies.

When is it proposed for the Foundation to commence?

Pending GA approval in Jamaica, we plan for the Foundation to begin operations in 2011, which will then progressively develop its program of activity as its sponsorship resources allow.  At the present time we have provisional commitments to support the start up of the Foundation over an initial three-year period.

How can Members find out more about the Foundation proposal before the GA in Jamaica?

David Hoey will be sending out a detailed set of documents prior to the meeting but I would also welcome any queries from Members direct to myself and other colleagues on the Board Working Group using the comments section on the website.

Thank you for this explanation Jack.  I’m sure there will be a good discussion in Jamaica about the Board’s plan for the future and in particular the Foundation proposal.

My pleasure Christine.  I’m very excited about the future of WorldSkills with the complementary roles of the Competition and the Foundation greatly enhancing the brand value of WorldSkills in the years ahead.

11 Comments to “WorldSkills 2020 Vision”

John Cox 22 July 2010 at 4:04 am #

Looking forward to hearing more about the Foundation.

Jack Dusseldorp 23 July 2010 at 4:47 am #

It would be great to hear some ideas about possible projects for the Foundation that would help strengthen the case for skills around the world. I know there are already lots of innovative projects happening right now in our various Member countries, and it would be good to hear about them as well.

Joe Okeke 23 July 2010 at 4:39 pm #

I’m interested in Co-ordinating and forwarding Nigerians facinating skills to the Skills World International.It’s a wonderful breakthrough in reducing poverty,hunger and unemployment crises globally.
Engr.Joe Okeke
Skills Promotion Consultant.

Joe Okeke 23 July 2010 at 4:49 pm #

Of date, I’ve 3 viable products waiting to be mass produce that would help grass root people in all the developing countries.
1) cooking stove that use small batteries/charcoal
2)Portable clay fired fridge that keep all agro products including fresh meat/fish fresh for 30 days without electricity.
3)African herbal tea that treat malaria within 3 days.

Laurent Thibault 27 July 2010 at 5:04 pm #

I am delighted that WorldSkills now has a blog. There are many issues that can benefit from a global discussion. For example, I recently came across a report outlining how China’s TVET system is trying to cope with the very high growth rate of its economy, and the need to absorb tens of millions of workers from the rural areas into the cities. The sheer scale of this effort merits attention, and it will be interesting to inter-act with our Chinese colleagues when they join WorldSkills International as they plan to do soon.
India has a similar need, and WorldSkills can help in defining the global standards that these countries aspire to.

As a WorldSkills International Board member, I have been involved in the analysis and discussions that led to the decision to create a Foundation to further advance the objectives of WorldSkills, I enjoyed reading the interview with President Dusseldorp. It is certainly a much more engaging style of providing information than just reading regular text.
I am personally convinced that the Foundaton as proposed by the Board will provide a very effective new platform for advancing the mission of WorldSkills that will complement the competitions. I am excited about the real tangible support for the Foundation from a number of sources even at this early stage.
I look forward to participating in a very productive discussion in Jamaica, and to the approval of this concept.

José Rubio 28 July 2010 at 12:22 am #

I think a great idea Foundation, can help create a better world.

Terry Cooke 4 August 2010 at 5:05 pm #

What a terrific interview and explanation of the next strategic steps to strengthen the WorldSkills brand. The WorldSkills Foundation is the vehicle which will take the skills movement to the next level of recognition around the world.
The WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Board of Directors was so convinced that the ‘advocay and education’ arm of the organization needed more structure and focus that it dedicated a significant cash contribution from its legacy funds to WSi to be used for the express purpose of establishing the foundation as a legal entitiy. We were also thrilled when the founding member, Spain, also stepped up the the plate and agreed to provide the location and legislative resources as foundation co-founder. We are convinced that this dual structure will give WSI and WSF global recogniton as the voice of youth while they strive to reach their maximum potential through workskills aquisition.

tommyhellstrom 12 August 2010 at 11:26 am #

After being involved in Worldskills for more than 10 years I become more and more convinced of the need for a common global focus on VTE and the way it benefit both individuals and society. I fully welcome the initiative with a Worldskills Foundation as an additional global platform for international experience sharing and development of standards for VTE.

grant stewart au 19 August 2010 at 11:02 pm #

As a member of two Skills Across the World projects in Zimbabwe. I am very happy to hear of the formation of the WorldSkills Foundation, with a focus on bettering vocational skill in Africa and other countries. It will be great to capture the skills of the WorldSkills family for sharing and upskilling of less fortunate people in the world.
I have added a link to the Skills Across the World video.

Dr Joe Okeke 11 November 2011 at 9:23 am #

I’ve all it takes to reduce poverty,hunger and unemployment in Africa.What I need is small grant to cover my traveling,lodgings/feedind and my training materials.About 500,000 US dolarr can aid us take up.Africans” MUST BE HELPED NOW”.