The next regional WorldSkills competitions occur in 30 regions across Australia mid-2013. At the end of that cycle the international competition will be in Brazil in 2015, so it is a good time to consider involvement in the competition – whether you are a potential competitor, an employer with an outstanding apprentice you would like to encourage or a Group Training Scheme that would like to provide opportunities to apprentices/trainees.
On my recent trip to Brazil representing Bricklaying at ‘WorldSkills Americas’ I was very impressed by the perception of vocational skills training in Brazil, and how it is held in high regard.
This applies at all levels from the proud student who proudly talks about their bricklaying studies to past and present Presidents of the nation who not only speak about the importance of skills in nation building but have also invested energies and resources into building one of the strongest training organisations in the world – Senai.
The organisation is funded wholly by industry, primarily through a one per cent levy from industry turnover, not profit, so it is a huge amount of money especially considering the 200 million population count. The student population of Senai is currently 2.5 million people and this will grow to 4 million within the next two years.
Engaging in training is free for students and graduates are channelled into employment by industry bodies and associations. It was remarkable to see so many students lined up outside colleges wanting to engage in tests so that they can gain a place in a course.
Many of the countries in South America (and increasingly around the world) are using WorldSkills to now benchmark skills on a global basis.
WorldSkills has always and will always promote skills excellence through competition but as the profile and participation numbers have grown it is exciting to see where WorldSkills is now headed and the influence it is having on skills development in so many countries.
Re-visit WorldSkills Bricklaying Competition this year, Here.
Consider entering in the Regional WorldSkills event, it could literally open up a world of opportunities. More information can be found via: www.worldskills.org.au (Australia) and www.worldskills.org (International).
Bricklaying Chief Category Expert, WorldSkills; A/Head Teacher – Civil Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus