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16 November 2021

WorldSkills General Assembly 2021 concludes

Hosted online for the second year in a row, the month-long series of meetings covered a wide range of topics but focused on preparations for WorldSkills Shanghai 2022.

The close of this year’s WorldSkills Conference also marked the conclusion of WorldSkills General Assembly 2021.

Usually held in person and hosted by a Member organization, the WorldSkills General Assembly was online for the second year in a row, after another year of global disruption.

The remote sessions started in September with Working Group meetings and side-meetings, leading up to the series of General Assembly sessions.

A key focus was preparations for WorldSkills Shanghai 2022, as well as looking ahead to WorldSkills Lyon 2024 and 2026, with a call for Members to bid to host the 48th WorldSkills Competition.

Tributes were paid to Board member John Oates, whose sudden and unexpected death in May, was, said WorldSkills President Chris Humphries, “nothing short of a tragedy”. John spent over 40 years supporting skills in Canada and was appointed WorldSkills Treasurer only last year.

Many impressive initiatives emerged from the WorldSkills Year of Innovation, 2021’s series of exciting and innovative programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members from around the world detailed how they have adapted and improved the delivery of their programmes, responding to even greater demand for skills development.

General Assembly 2021 included opportunities for the newest Member countries and regions to introduce themselves, with presentations from Azerbaijan, Kenya, and Uzbekistan.

There was also a warm welcome to Global Partner, Jiean Hi-Tech Zhengzhou from Henan, China, specialists in technology simulation and virtual reality training in railway systems aviation and navigation.

With a series of votes, Members approved the WorldSkills Regional Development policy and the implementation of the WorldSkills Occupational Standards Development Center in partnership with Skills Finland. Members were also updated on the progress of the Impact Statement, a long-term project to measure and share the global reach of our movement.

Throughout 2021 the commitment and investment in Skills Development in Africa continued through a strong partnership with the African Union, and support from Members including Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Italy, and Global Partners Festo and VCOM. WorldSkills Namibia will host WorldSkills Africa Swakopmund 2022 in March next year.

The General Assembly included recognition of individuals from the WorldSkills community and Members celebrating key milestones. Our congratulations to all the people and organizations creating a movement of change within their countries to expand skills development and excellence.

While the General Assembly formal meetings focused on organizational development, the WorldSkills Conference welcomed the broader skills community to a week-long series of sessions centred on “The Road Ahead: Skills for a Resilient Future.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic as the backdrop for discussions, the Conference, hosted in partnership with WorldSkills China, explored the future of VET. Experts and officials from international organizations and government, leaders of business and industry, as well as skills organizations and youth focused on what can be learnt from the crisis.

The development of the Conference was led by the WorldSkills Conference Coalition, which includes the African Union, British Council, European Commission, Federation Ministry of Education and Research Germany, Global Apprenticeship Network, International Labour Organization, OECD, UNESCO, UNEVOC, and UNIDO.

WorldSkills General Assembly 2022 and the next WorldSkills Conference are scheduled for October 2022 in Shanghai, China.