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12 June 2020

WorldSkills supports international education response to pandemic

WorldSkills has joined a global coalition to support education and create learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is estimated that around 1.5 billion students and young people are currently losing out from school and education closures as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Global Education Coalition is a response by the United Nation’s cultural and education organization, UNESCO, bringing together key international partners like WorldSkills to minimize the disruption caused by the disease.

David Hoey, CEO of WorldSkills International said “Basic education is essential and we embrace this coalition’s commitment to leave no one behind.”

With 84 Members, WorldSkills already connects two thirds of the global population to promote the value of vocational skills and education.

This pandemic has shown “how essential skilled workers are,” David Hoey said.

“Apart from the amazing work of healthcare workers we take for granted that the lights come on, clean water comes from the tap and food is delivered to our doors.”

“But of course, in emerging economies that is not always the case even in non-pandemic times and we know there are millions living in communities where even the basics are not available.”

By joining the coalition, WorldSkills was going back to basics, making sure “all the good work done today by organizations, companies, foundations…driven and powered by passionate workers and volunteers, is not lost.”

The UNESCO led coalition has brought together global organizations like the International Labor Organization, the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education, UNICEF, and the UN Children’s Fund.

It also includes leading names from the private sector, like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Zoom, along with philanthropic and non-profit organizations that include the Khan Academy, Dubai Cares, and Sesame Street.

Together they are providing resources and support to students, parents and teachers to minimize what the coalition calls “unparalleled educational disruption.”

Many WorldSkills Members are already developing remote learning and assessment that will allow their young people to complete skills training and find alternatives to national competitions cancelled or postponed by COVID-19.

Mr Hoey said “Skills development and effective deployment will be critical to post pandemic economies. WorldSkills commits to do its part by supporting and mobilizing our talent, tools, and resources.”

Find out how UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition is helping