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4 June 2014

"Skilled for Excellence and Development" - WorldSkills Champions share their stories

20140602_205906.jpg"Skilled for Excellence and Development" was a side-event organized by the Permanent Missions of Germany and Brazil with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and WorldSkills, held on the occasion of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum "#Youth2015: Realizing the Future They Want".

On 2 June 2014, at the UN Plaza in New York, the side-event featured a presentation of skills needed in developing countries by ILO, a presentation on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems in Brazil and Germany, and interviews with some of our very own WorldSkills Champions who have participated in WorldSkills Competitions and Projects.

Hubert Romer, CEO of WorldSkills Germany was very impressed by the turn out at the side-event and expressed his thanks to all those involved:

“Thanks to the missions of Germany and Brazil, we were able to present the vision and idea of the WorldSkills movement to more than 100 representatives of the world. It was impressive to get so much positive feedback. That shows, that WorldSkills is on it´s way and that the philosophy of WorldSkills is exactly what we need to improve the skills of young people. The Champions did a fantastic job as ambassadors of WorldSkills. Perfect cooperation between WorldSkills and WorldSkills Germany.”  

The WorldSkills Champions and delegates present from different countries told the world about WorldSkills and shared their experiences and success stories. There was be a panel discussion featuring Nata Miccael Barbosa (Brazil – Web Design – Gold Medallist, London 2011), Henrique Baron (Brazil – Mechatronics – Gold Medallist, Leipzig 2013), Tobias Becher (Germany - Restaurant Service - Silver Medallist, Leipzig 2013) and Miss Won Jeong Lee (South Korea – Hairdressing – Silver Medallist, London 2011).

"I was thrilled to be part of a forum that was focused on listening to the demands of the youth and what matters to them in the post-2015 agenda regarding topics like employment, entrepreneurship, and the transition school-to-work -- this is definitely the way to go. The major event is a great initiative that brings the empowerment of the youth one step further for the better. There was a unique opportunity for hearing and learning the different perspectives from youth participants from all over the world, thus becoming aware of their countries' struggles and actions towards the youth -- the experience was both inspiring and motivating, thus making me reflect even more about my role as a youth participant in this world and the issues that my perspectives and experiences can help solve. I am thankful for the side event, "Skilled for Excellence and Development", which allowed me and my peers to share a little of our stories trying to highlight which aspects made the difference in our professional and personal lives that were made possible and/or facilitated by the process of vocational education alongside the opportunities provided by WorldSkills. I hope the audience can bring to their home countries the core values behind our voices, which is, among many other aspects, a combination of hard work, empowerment of the youth, taking ownership of work, seeking professional excellence, and making the most out of every learning opportunity as we grow to be adults that contribute to their countries' (and the world) as social-transformed citizens. WorldSkills has the potential to contribute strongly to the aforementioned aspects, just as it has happened in my life,"  says Nata Barbosa about his experience as part of the ECOSOC side-event in New York.

This side-event was part of the Youth Forum, which was held to bring the voice of youth to the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) of the ECOSOC, with this year’s theme being "Addressing on-going and emerging challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future." This was a significant event to be associated with, because in attendance of the AMR were Member States, policy-makers, civil society organizations, representatives of academia and the private sector. The summary of discussions at the Youth Forum will be presented at the AMR in July.

The Youth Forum was organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Office of the Youth Envoy of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Inter-agency Network on Youth. Participants in the Youth Forum included Ministers of Youth and Sports, youth delegates, representation from the Children and Youth Major Group, youth representatives from Member States, including from National Youth Councils, representatives of regional youth organizations as well as youth-led and youth focused organizations and networks, including those in consultative status with ECOSOC.

WorldSkills Champion Henrique Baron sumed it up best: 

"I can say that our primary - and very important - goal was reached that afternoon: we opened the view of those people for two already applied (and efficient) technical education systems that can point to their solution on youth employment, and turned visibility to the existence of an institution that is comprised of the development and support of the vocational training worldwide. I hope that WorldSkills does not stop showing itself to countries in order to promote and broaden its big effort."

To learn more, visit the ECOSOC website.