Skip to main content

28 August 2019

Fond farewells and appreciation for outgoing WorldSkills President Simon Bartley

Tributes and praise have been paid to Simon Bartley as he stands down as the President of WorldSkills International.

Tributes and praise have been paid to Simon Bartley as he stands down as the President of WorldSkills International.

The General Assembly at WorldSkills International marked the end of his second term of office with a standing ovation.

His final public act was to join Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Closing Ceremony of WorldSkills Kazan 2019.

Earlier, WorldSkills CEO David Hoey spoke of his special relationship with Mr Bartley, saying that even at times when they debated issues “The bottom line is we were always totally committed to the principles and outcome of WorldSkills International and its tradition and vision, position and what was right”.

Addressing Board members, Delegates and the WorldSkills Secretariat, he paid tribute to Mr Bartley’s dedication, and the long hours and many miles travelled as President.

“Simon never complained, he just got on with the job because to him, he had made a commitment to build the organization, expand the membership, and spread skills across the world.”

“I think the fact that we have 82 Members and this week we received more applications is a tribute to his commitment to skills across the world.”

Simon joined the WorldSkills Board from WorldSkills UK as the representative for WorldSkills UK 2011. He was elected President in 2010, formally taking office the following year.

As well as an additional 24 Member countries and regions joining WorldSkills during this period, his term of office has seen the creation of the Champions Trust, the Experts Faculty and Vision 2025, with the drive to develop skills in Africa.

“Your contribution can never truly be measured, but I think WorldSkills is in a much better place because of your time, commitment and professionalism,” Mr Hoey told the Assembly.

In reply, Mr Bartley first offered an apology for what he said were “The mistakes that I've made, for the things that I've said that I'd do and haven’t done and the countries that I haven’t visited during my eight years.”

Saying it was impossible to thank everyone by name, he offered thanks to all those who had helped him, including the Secretariat and extended Secretariat, the Board, Partners, and Experts.

Speaking of the Secretariat he said "They do a job about which we should be enormously proud and we should support them more than they do.” He added “I am in awe of you.”

Singling out volunteers, he said he was “constantly amazed by their great spirit and enthusiasm,” while to the Competitors, he added “You are the real heart of this organization.”