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14 June 2012

National Skills Competition in Finland was truly international

taitaja2012_1.jpgNew WorldSkills Member, Russia, visits Taitaja2012

By Pauliina Juhola

The Finnish National Skills Competition Taitaja2012 was arranged in the city of Jyväskylä at the end of April. The event was spectacular, once again, with over 40,000 visitors, 400 competitors and 42 skill areas. Taitaja, the biggest annual event for vocational students, also stimulates great interest abroad. “The Finnish National Skills Competition is an event people want to attend because of its big scale – making it one of the biggest nationals. Many students are here to prepare for the upcoming EuroSkills and WorldSkills Competitions”, reveals Matti Haapanen, Coordinator for International Competition. A really large number of international visitors attended the event in Jyväskylä also to learn more about arranging a national-level skills competition. One of the biggest groups this year came from Russia.

Russian delegation learning about national skills competitions in Finland

Russia is the newest Member of WorldSkills International. A group of eminent Russian officials, ministers and educational leaders from Tatarstan, came to Jyväskylä to learn how to organize a national skills competition in a professional way. WorldSkills Russia organization is planning to have its first nationals next year 2013. “Our plan is to organize our first national competitions in the biggest city of the republic of Tatarstan, Kazan. The economic growth and central location gives us a good basis for our first competitions”, tells Pavel Chernyk, Technical Delegate of WorldSkills Russia. “We have learned a lot here in Jyväskylä, and also last year in Taitaja2011 in Kuopio”, says Alina Doskanova from WorldSkills Russia. Pavel and Alina spent a few days in Jyväskylä looking around the competition site in detail and discussing with key people from Skills Finland and Taitaja2012 team.


Strong expertise in developing the quality of vocational training

Internationality was one of the key themes in Finnish National Skills Competition. The theme was visible during the whole event in many different ways. In addition to the remarkable amount of foreign competitors, there were also many international groups e.g. from China and Latvia observing and learning. Most of these groups of experts took part in the International seminar about the quality and attractiveness of vocational training. The seminar gathered together about 200 vocational training professionals from ten different countries. One of the key speakers in the event was professor Olga Oleynikova, from the Center for VET Studies in Moscow. Professor Oleynikova analysed the quality issues in Finnish vocational education and training.

Nationals can be international

Taitaja 2012 attracted the largest number of foreign entrants in the history of the Taitaja event – altogether 25 foreign competitors, eight of them came from Russia. Russian students were in Finland learning on how to compete in skills. Ramis Yunusov from the University of Kazan, participated in IT/Software competition and found the tasks pretty difficult. Still, the whole experience of competing in professional skills was really positive for Ramis and he is convinced to take part in Russian nationals next year. And so is Anatoly Belozerov. He competed in Ventilation in Jyväskylä and learned many new techniques and ways of working during the three-day competition. Ramis and Anatoly, and their friend Denis Zenkin from National Mineral Resources University will tell positive news from Finland and national skills competitions to their friends: “We learned a lot and got inspired to take part in the Russian nationals next year!” Let´s see if we will find these young men in WorldSkills Leipzig 2013.