Founded in 1950, WorldSkills International (WSI) – the largest skills competition in the world – is a global organisation that promotes vocational, technological and service oriented education and training.
It promotes skilled careers in 72 member countries and regions, all working with youth, educators, governments, and industries to help prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future.
WSI brings youth, industries, and educators together to give youth a chance to compete, experience, and learn how to become the best in their skill of choice. WSI is making a direct impact on raising the level of skills throughout the world – from traditional trades to multi-skilled technology careers in the industry and service sectors, supported by parents, industries, governments, volunteers, and educational institutions. This global event has become the pinnacle of showcasing excellence in vocational education and training.
Every two years, tens of thousands of skilled young people from around the world – accompanied by their teachers, coaches and mentors – gather in a selected city to compete in their various trades and test themselves against demanding international standards.
The young professionals, who are selected by their respective countries, may only participate in the competition once and must be between 18 and 22 years of age.
In South Africa, the WorldSkills initiative is championed by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Even though South Africa has participated in WSI events since 1990, WSSA was formally established in April 2013 by the deputy minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, who says that World Skills South Africa is “a win-win situation for learners, employers, government and the economy”.
Why are skill competitions so important?
• Training, qualifying and competing in the WorldSkills Competition equals four to five years of professional training.
• These competitions build character, confidence, commitment, and self-esteem.
• Help to align and increase the quality of the required standards in vocational and education training systems and help to benchmark educational training systems against industry, public demand, and across borders.
• The challenge of a competition brings fun and exciting elements into teaching and training while validating that mastery of a skill requires practical learning and training over time.
• Competitions improve quality of training, promote professional development, and drive improvements in vocational training.
• WorldSkills offers the infrastructure and competition experience to engage with a number of target groups, from students in grade school and secondary school to youth, governments, and educators.
The next competition will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and aims to promote exchanges between young professionals from various regions of the world, which includes exchanging of skills, experience and technological innovations; raising understanding of the importance of skills training within government, education and industry; and raising the awareness of youth – and those who influence them – to the opportunities that are available within skilled professions.
In South Africa, the process to select the person who will represent South Africa in the electrical installation skills will follow these steps:
Step 1: TVET colleges will run a screening process to select a candidate who will represent them in the regional competition (theoretical process).
Step 2: TVET colleges will facilitate a regional competition (practical process).
Step 3: TVET colleges will facilitate a provincial competition (practical process).
Step 4: WorldSkills South Africa will facilitate a national competition, which will be held in Durban in February 2017, to identify candidates who will represent South Africa in Abu Dhabi in 2017.
As I am the nominated South African electrical installation expert, I will mentor the competitor who will represent South Africa in the electrical installations category.
If you or your organisation would like to be part of WorldSkills South Africa by providing sponsorship or assistance during the South African competitions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on WorldSkills South Africa visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DHET/366699083370092
To find out more about the competition, visit: https://www.worldskills.org