Wales has been announced as a host country for the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022, which will see over 1,000 competitors from 58 countries take part in international skill competitions across Europe, North America, and East Asia.
Following the cancellation of WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global WorldSkills network made rearrangements to ensure young competitors who had qualified for the internationals could still compete.
The international competition will now be hosted in 15 countries across the world based on the best resource and facilities available – with Wales flying the flag as the UK’s official host.
Nicknamed the “Skills Olympics”, WorldSkills competitions are designed to inspire and upskill future generations by developing young people’s vocational skills and showcasing best international practices in apprenticeships and technical education.
The 61 international skills competitions will take place from September to November this year across a wide range of industries including Construction & Infrastructure, Engineering & Technology, Health, Hospitality and Lifestyle, and Digital, Business & Creative.
Between the 1st – 4th November, Coleg Cambria in Wrexham will host the Manufacturing Team Challenge competition which will see Wales’ own finalists, Mike Jones, George Denman and Charlie Samson compete against the best in the world to claim the title for Wales. All three of the competitors will work together to tackle tasks in technical abilities including project management, electronics, programming and computer-aided design.
Coleg Cambria’s Learner Experience and Enterprise Manager Rona Griffiths said: “We are so proud to be selected as a venue for the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022.
“Year on year we have witnessed how participating in these competitions inspires our young learners to develop a passion and pride in their skills, boosting their confidence, employability and technical skills.
“We cannot wait to host the Manufacturing Team Challenge competition and invite spectators to watch skills excellence in action in our first-class engineering facilities.”
The capital of Wales will also welcome competitors from the Aircraft Maintenance category at Cardiff and Vale College. The event will be held at their state-of-the-art venue for aircraft and aerospace engineering, with the college providing on-the-day careers advice and the opportunity to talk to employers and industry experts.
Cardiff and Vale College Group Chief Executive and member of the WorldSkills UK Board of Trustees Mike James said: “We are delighted to host the WorldSkills International Special Edition Aircraft Maintenance contest at our renowned International Centre for Aerospace Training (ICAT).
“We have a long history of WorldSkills success at CAVC, and, as a WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence and winner of the WorldSkills UK Equality and Diversity Ambassador Award, we recognise the importance of skills competitions such as this.
“WorldSkills encourages young people to be the best of the best in a wide range of skills and technologies, unlocking their potential whilst driving up talent for sectors and generating economic growth – everyone wins through WorldSkills.”
In addition to hosting two of the competitions, Wales will have a competitor representing the UK in another host country. Ben Lewis, a finalist in the Electronics category, will be flying to Switzerland to fly the flag for Wales.
Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “It’s a huge privilege for Wales to host the WorldSkills Special Edition 2022 on behalf of the United Kingdom.
“The WorldSkills competitions are a fantastic opportunity for some of the most creative and driven young people in the world to showcase their skills. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming many talented competitors to Wales.
“The Welsh Government is committed to investing in our future generations. By providing young people with the opportunities they need to nurture their talent, develop new skills and realise their ambitions, we’re providing them with the tools they need to build successful future careers. This is vital in helping us recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and making economies the world over more resilient to the changes and challenges we’ll face in the decades to come.”
Wales has previously taken 12 competitors to the WorldSkills international finals in the past few years, which have taken place in cities including Kazan and Abu Dhabi.
WorldSkills is supported by the Welsh Government, to promote the importance of a highly skilled workforce for the future. For more information on Team Wales and WorldSkills UK, visit https://inspiringskills.gov.wales/