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29 March 2010

SkillsIceland National Competition

iceland_2010_landscape_gardening_250.jpgBy Thor Palsson, Technical Delegate, SkillsIceland

The Icelandic National Competition was held March 18–19 in Smaralind, the biggest shopping centre in Iceland. This is the fifth National Competition in Iceland since it was decided to combine smaller competitions held in schools into one National Competition. It was the first to be held under the SkillsIceland brand.

With a total of 11 hours of work for each Competitor, it was Iceland’s second two-day Competition. It was also the biggest in Iceland so far, with 144 Competitors in 17 skills ranging from Beautician to Mechanical Engineering Design. New skills included Mechanical Engineering Design - CAD, Automobile Technology and Landscape Gardening. The skills Baker, Butcher, Cooking, and Restaurant Service were also new to the National Competition, although they have held their own competitions before.

The event attracted a large number of visitors, but we still need to get more media coverage. Brochures were sent to schools for students from 14 to 16 years old, and headmasters were encouraged to send students to see the Competitors at work.

The Minister of Education, Katrin Jakobsdóttir, opened the Competition and welcomed all Competitors and teams. In her opening speech she underlined the importance of basic knowledge and skills for the future of the Icelandic economy.

After two days of intense and highly successful competition and the presentation of medals and awards, the Director General of the Federation of Icelandic Industries closed the Competition. Many happy young people went home proud of a job well done.

For more pictures from the Competition go to Flickr.
More information about SkillsIceland (in Icelandic).