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27 May 2009

Portugese National Skill Competition 2009

pt_1_250.jpgBy SkillsPortugal

The Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, promotes, organises and conducts the Regional and National Vocational Skills Competition, and undertakes to represent the Portuguese team in WorldSkills and in EuroSkills.

In addition to being a Competition where young people test the skills acquired in a training and/or work context, the National Vocational Skills Competition (SkillsPortugal) is designed to be a stage where companies, vocational training/education institutions and young visitors (many of whom have reached the age at which they must decide on their life projects) come into contact with the personal investment and the skills shown by the young professional Competitors. The Competition is thus transformed into a highly skilled showcase of young talents.

SkillsPortugal is a unique opportunity to show the important role that the status of Education and Vocational Training plays in the transformation of young people’s attitudes in relation to work, in defining life projects and in the development of our country. Truth be told, “Learning is Rewarding”.

In light of this, the National Vocational Skills Competition/Santarém 2009 was held at the Vocational Training Centre in Santarém, from March 9-12 , engaging 164 young Competitors, as well as numerous Judges, Trainers, Competition Designers, Workshop Leaders, Team Leaders and Organisation Staff, from the mainland of Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores, who participated in this great qualification showcase in Portugal.

pt_2_250.jpgThe young Competitors in SkillsPortugal/Santarém 2009 were short-listed based on previously demonstrated value, through both their performance in training centres and in regional competitions, which has made them all winners from the onset of the Competition. The key target of this Competition is, therefore, to find the 'Best of the Best'.

There were 34 trades involved in this national competition, grouped into 6 vocational clusters: Transportation, Construction and Building Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, Management and Information Technologies, Arts and Artistic Technologies, Social and Personal Services.

Of these 164 Competitors, 96 received gold, silver and bronze medals, competing in 19 trades and aiming to qualify for team Portugal for the upcoming WorldSkills Competition. They will participate in a specific training plan that will short-list the 19 competitors who will represent the national colours and the excellence of the Portuguese vocational training in the upcoming WorldSkills Competition, which will be held this coming September in Calgary, Canada.

The scale of the 2009 Competition was unrivalled, attracting the highest number ever of Competitors, Trades, Judges, Sponsors and Visitors, approximately 8,000 in total, most of them young people at an age when they have to decide on their life projects. By attracting this many young people the Competition met one of its targets – the visibility and promotion of qualifications and training. This visibility was also made possible through the interest and participation of the media and audiovisual broadcasting, present for the first time in such a competition through the Internet.

pt_3_250.jpgNow that the national competition phase is over, we are currently preparing the national team selected for the WorldSkills Competition, in Calgary, in September. We hope Portugal will once again set the world class standards we have grown accustomed to, on international grounds. It is the country with the highest number of participants over the years (since Portugal joined WorldSkills International in 1950) – 500 Competitors, bringing home a total of 27 gold medals, 52 silver medals and 45 bronze ones, in addition to 41 Medals of Excellence. This Competition was also marked by the Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity announcing that Portugal will host and organize the next European Skills Competition (EuroSkills), from 23 to 26 November, 2010, at EXPO, Lisbon, engaging 500 Competitors from 30 countries in the European continent, who will be competing in 50 trades.

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