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WorldSkills is an international skills competition for youth that is held in a different member country every two years. As of September 2008, WorldSkills International has 50 member countries.[1] Competitors from 17 to 22 years old demonstrate their excellence in a number of different skilled trades and technology contest areas. The competition is promoted and managed by WorldSkills International, formerly known as the International Vocation Training Organisation (IVTO). The most recent competition, WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, took place between 3–6 July 2013 at Leipzig Trade Fair.


Governed by an international Board of Directors and administered by the WorldSkills Secretariat, WSI's mission is " promote, through the cooperative actions of Members, a world-wide awareness of the essential contribution that skills and high standards of competence make to the achievement of economic success and individual achievement."[citation needed]

Through international competitions held every two years, WSI attempts to raise awareness to the opportunities that exist in skilled professions with the intent of encouraging youth and their parents and teachers to explore career opportunities in skilled trades and technology.

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 took place from September 1 through September 7, 2009. The event was held at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. One thousand of the best skilled young people from 50 countries competed in 45 skill areas to determine who was the best of the best. More than 80,000 square meters of space was utilized during the competition and visitors and delegates from around the world occupied 30,000 hotel room nights while visiting Calgary. Richard Walker President and CEO.

The WorldSkills legacy will leave $18 million in new state-of-the art equipment after the event for youth training and education.[2] Finally, WSI and the WorldSkills Calgary Organisation will, through education and youth awareness programs, leave a lasting legacy of awareness to the value of skills training and a career in skilled professions.[citation needed]

Among its main objectives are:

  • Promote the exchange between young professionals from various regions of the world;
  • Exchange of skills, experience and technological innovations;
  • Raise the understanding in governments, education and industry to the importance of skills training.
  • Raise the awareness of youth and those who influence youth to the opportunities available in skilled professions.

The young professionals who compete are selected by their respective countries, may only participate once in the WorldSkills Competition, and must be between the ages of 17 and 22 years in the year of competition.

Medals are awarded during the competition: gold, silver and bronze. Medallions of Excellence are also awarded to those competitors who achieve above-average scores in their contest areas.


In 1946, given the need for skilled workers in Spain, the then Director-General of the Organization of Spanish Workers (OJE), Sr. Anthony Elola Olaso, realized it was necessary to create an effective system of professional training.

The idea of Olaso became a project in the hands of Antonio Almagro and Faustino Ramos, Director of the Center for Work, and awakened interests of agencies and companies where the most important centre for training Spanish, "Virgin of La Paloma," embraced the idea.

The first National Competition held in Madrid, the Spanish capital, was a success. It was attended by four thousand apprentices.

But the event creators wanted more. They wanted to promote competitions that challenged competitors, showing the different levels of skill and ability of young people from other countries.

By having greater affinity, Latin American countries were invited to create an International Competition.

In 1950, with twelve young skilled competitors from Portugal and Spain, the first WorldSkills Competition was held.


The WorldSkills Competition is currently held every two years. The most recent competition, its 42nd edition, took place in 2013, in Leipzig, Germany.

Year Locale Year Locale
2017 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2015 São Paulo, Brazil
2013 Leipzig, Germany
2011 London, United Kingdom 1971 Gijón, Spain
2009 Calgary, Canada 1970 Tokyo, Japan
2007 Numazu, Japan 1969 Brussels, Belgium
2005 Helsinki, Finland 1968 Bern, Switzerland
2003 St. Gallen, Switzerland 1967 Madrid, Spain
2001 Seoul, South Korea 1966 Utrecht, Netherlands
1999 Montreal, Canada 1965 Glasgow, United Kingdom
1997 St. Gallen, Switzerland 1964 Lisbon, Portugal
1995 Lyon, France 1963 Dublin, Ireland
1993 Taipei, Taiwan 1962 Gijön, Spain
1991 Amsterdam, Netherlands 1961 Duisburg, Germany
1989 Birmingham, United Kingdom 1960 Barcelona, Spain
1988 Sydney, Australia 1959 Modena, Italy
1985 Osaka, Japan 1958 Brussels, Belgium
1983 Linz, Austria 1957 Madrid, Spain
1981 Cork, Ireland 1956 Madrid, Spain
1979 Busan, South Korea 1955 Madrid, Spain
1977 Utrecht, Netherlands 1953 Madrid, Spain
1975 Madrid, Spain 1951 Madrid, Spain
1973 Munich, Germany 1950 Madrid, Spain

List of skills on the last competition [3][edit]

Construction and Building Technology

  • 08 Architectural Stonemasonry
  • 20 Bricklaying
  • 24 Cabinetmaking
  • 26 Carpentry
  • 18 Electrical Installations
  • 25 Joinery
  • 37 Landscape Gardening
  • 22 Painting and Decorating
  • 21 Plastering and Drywall Systems
  • 15 Plumbing and Heating
  • 38 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • 12 Wall and Floor Tiling

Creative Arts and Fashion

  • 31 Fashion Technology
  • 28 Floristry
  • 40 Graphic Design Technology
  • 27 Jewellery
  • 44 Visual Merchandising/Window Dressing

Information and Communication Technology

  • 02 Information Network Cabling
  • 39 IT Network Systems Administration
  • 09 IT Software Solutions for Business
  • 11 Print Media Technology
  • 17 Web Design

Manufacturing and Engineering Technology

  • 07 CNC Milling
  • 06 CNC Turning
  • 42 Construction Metal Work
  • 16 Electronics
  • 03 Manufacturing Team Challenge
  • 05 Mechanical Engineering Design - CAD
  • 04 Mechatronics
  • 23 Mobile Robotics
  • D1 Plastic Die Engineering
  • 01 Polymechanics/Automation
  • 45 Prototype Modelling
  • 43 Sheet Metal Technology
  • 10 Welding

Social and Personal Services

  • 30 Beauty Therapy
  • 32 Confectioner/Pastry Cook
  • 34 Cooking
  • 29 Hairdressing
  • 41 Health and Social Care
  • 35 Restaurant Service

Transportation and Logistics

  • 14 Aircraft Maintenance
  • 13 Autobody Repair
  • 33 Automobile Technology
  • 36 Car Painting


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1] Reference WSC'09 Business Plan
  3. ^ [2] Skills for WorldSkills São Paulo 2015

External links[edit]