Skip to main content

29 December 2023

2023: Together, we are WorldSkills.

After another incredible twelve months, we reflect on highlights from the year and take a moment to celebrate what our WorldSkills community can achieve when we all work together.

We are WorldSkills. Compete with us.

Preparations are well underway for our 47th WorldSkills Competition, when over 250,000 people will meet in the French city of Lyon from 10 to 15 September 2024. To support the planning, we hosted our inaugural Competition Infrastructure Workshop in March. The three-day event brought together Skill Competition Managers, Workshop Managers, Global Partners, and Event Sponsors to discuss technical requirements for each skill competition, so they are as streamline, cost-efficient and sustainable as possible.

In May, WorldSkills Lyon 2024 received strong support from the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron who heralded the event, saying, “France will host the magnificent global skill competition, which allows young people under 23 years of age from 85 nations to benchmark their professional abilities in more than 60 trades.” In September, the WorldSkills Lyon 2024 launched a film to mark the one-year countdown and invite the world to see that “Where There is a Skill, There is a Way”.

Our community also celebrated skills excellence at a regional level. In August, the 13th WorldSkills ASEAN Competition took place after three years delay, due to pandemic. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister of Education, described the sight of nearly 200 young Competitors coming together as “a sign of our resilience and solidarity.”

In September, nearly 600 Competitors travelled to Poland to take part in EuroSkills Gdańsk 2023. Teams represented all 32 WorldSkills Europe Member countries and regions competed together under the banner of #UnitedBySkills.

In November, WorldSkills Asia Abu Dhabi 2023, hosted Competitors, Experts, and Workshop Managers from more than 30 countries and regions that once again put skilled youth into the spotlight at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

With fondness and with pride, we launched the impact report for WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition which captured the perspectives of each of the 15 Host Members and Partners and celebrated the successes from this unique event in our community’s history.

We are WorldSkills. Unite with us.

It was with much joy that our WorldSkills community met in September at WorldSkills General Assembly Dublin 2023. During the week, Members and Partners shared best practices, listened to updates, discussed improvements and learned from each other’s projects and initiatives. The experience was made all the richer by coming together in person and being surrounded by the hospitality and charm of the organizing team at WorldSkills Ireland.

Key moments from GA2023 included:

  • Ratification of WorldSkills Kyrgyzstan as the newest Member of WorldSkills. Kyrgyzstan is the 86th Member to join WorldSkills.
  • The prelaunch of WorldSkills Africa as the next important milestone in the formation of a new regional office for the continent. The official launch will take place in February 2024 at the Head of States and Government Summit in Addis Ababa.
  • Live pitches from the five finalists of our annual global entrepreneur competition, BeChangeMaker 2023 which was won by Altogether, an accessible justice mobile application and service.
  • The WorldSkills Ireland Conference which discussed the strengths of the apprenticeship model in Ireland and debated the future of AI in skills development

General Assembly 2023 also provided our community with a poignant moment to honour board member, Terry Cooke with a WorldSkills Fellowship for his lifelong passion for skills. His tireless efforts were recognized with a standing ovation by Members and Partners. Terry sadly passed away a few weeks later and will be much missed by all those who benefitted from his work.

We are WorldSkills. Be inspired with us.

In 2023, we welcomed eight inspiring young people to become the next global ambassadors for skills excellence and advocates for skills equity. In March, Mihle, Justina, Sonya, Shweta, Melkon, João, Cloé, and Rachel joined returning representatives Dan, Shae, and Yousra. Together they make up the WorldSkills Champions Trust. The new cohort kicked off with an intensive training camp in Lyon in May.

Towards the end of the year, the entire WorldSkills community was delighted by the launch of the incredible WorldSkills Museum in Shanghai in November. After three years of planning and development, the old wing of a textile storehouse has been transformed into an interactive experience that charts the history of skills, achievements across the WorldSkills community, and looks to the role that skills must play in the future.

Inspiring people to join our skills movement is fundamental to our campaigns. In March we recognized International Women’s Day by asking people to #EmbraceEquity and speak up for fair access to skills. In April, we marked Earth Day by reflecting with Champions about how skills can become more sustainable. Then in May, we unveiled our global campaign #WeAreWorldSkills that celebrated the collective impact of our skills movement.

We are WorldSkills. Change the world with us.

Lastly, 2023 has been a year of great impact and our community continues to work hard to ensure our young people have the skills they need to improve their lives, and our world.

In February, we were proud to share that our digital badges have proved hugely successful and over 3,000 “virtual” credentials have been issued since the programme launched in September 2022.

Our Experts, Members, and Partners have been getting involved in the real-world application of skills, contributing to major global studies. In July, we shared that our Experts will be working with the OECD on its PISA-VET initiative which aims to capture the most comprehensive data, to data, that can help countries benchmark VET systems around the world. In October, WorldSkills worked with UNEVOC to compile a report into the skills needed for a sustainable future.

Our on-the-ground capacity building continued in earnest. In Uganda, we concluded 12 months of coaching as part of the Global Impact Challenge, in partnership with Stanley Black & Decker and Don Bosco Tech Africa. In May, 30 trainers and 17 students attended a week-long “boot camp” and had a chance to put their learning into practice. Every single one of the trainers who took part said they felt more motivated as a result of the programme and the full impact has been shared in a short documentary and report.

We were delighted in December to close the year with the addition of a new Global Partner. INTAMSYS, a world-leading 3D printing and additive manufacturing company became the newest WorldSkills Global Industry Partner and will support two skills at WorldSkills Lyon 2024.

We are WorldSkills. Look forward with us.

This short highlight of some of the activities in 2023 demonstrates that our community has much to be proud of. Every one of our Members and Partners has played their part through their local, national, regional, and international projects to advance skills development. As 2024 approaches, and with our 47th WorldSkills Competition on the horizon, we look forward to another successful year.

Alone, each person can make a difference. Together, we can change worlds.

Together, we are WorldSkills.