30 November 2020
WorldSkills grows to 85 Member countries and regions
Three new Members join WorldSkills family taking our total Members to 85 countries and regions.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the importance of family in difficult times. So it’s with great pleasure that this year’s General Assembly has confirmed the addition of three new Members, making our own WorldSkills family now 85 strong.
In alphabetical order, the first new arrival is Azerbaijan, as part of the State Agency for Vocational Education under the Ministry of Education. Located in the Caucuses, and with a population of nearly ten million, Azerbaijan was formerly part of the Soviet Union until becoming an independent republic in 1991. Natural rich in oil and gas, the country is also a popular tourist destination, especially the ancient city of Baku, which, at 92 metres below sea level, is also the lowest capital city in the world. Azerbaijan’s decision to join WorldSkills reflects the country’s belief that skills are one of the most important economic drivers and the need to have a flexible and adaptable TVET system.
“We are considering WorldSkills as a promising tool capable to bring all stakeholders around the same table in order to achieve matching supply to current demand for skills and to assist in projecting upcoming labor market trends in Azerbaijan,” a spokesperson said.
Kenya brings the number of our sub Saharan Members in Africa to a very welcome six, and reflects WorldSkills growth in the continent and support for its economic development. On the Indian Ocean coast of Africa, Kenya has roots going at least five thousand years but today is a modern democracy, with a population of around 50 million, nearly three quarters of whom are under 30. Best known internationally for coffee and wildlife tourism, Kenya is also one of the world’s leading exporters of cut flowers.
Dr Kipkirui Langat, the head of Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority, says membership and the chance to take part in WorldSkills Competitions offers “immense” opportunities for Competitors, employers, and industry, colleges, trainers, and the country at large.”
It will “inspire young people to develop a passion for skills and pursue excellence,” as well as developing the skills of experts and trainers to global standards.
Joining WorldSkills reflects a government push counter a negative view among some young people and raise enrolment in TVET colleges, says Dr Langat.
“Kenya has spearheaded steps to have the country join the WorldSkills Competition to serve as a platform for our youth to dream big and as a country, claim our space amongst the peers,” he says.
Finally, there is Uzbekistan, located in Central Asia and once part of the ancient Silk Road that linked east and west.
Today Uzbekistan has a population of just over 35 million with an economy that includes natural gas, cotton and the world’s seventh largest production of gold.
Part of the Soviet Union until 1991, the capital Tashkent was settled around 10,000 years ago, while historic Samarkand is even older. The country is one of only two the world to be double landlocked, meaning all the countries on its borders are also landlocked.
Membership of WorldSkills is through WorldSkills Uzbekistan and the Association of Development and Popularization of Working Professions.
With the support of WorldSkills Russia it recently held its first national championships in six skills, with plans for a pilot WorldSkills training centre in Tashkent.
Our goal is to increase the prestige of working professions and improve the qualification of workers,” a spokesman said.
We believe that the participation of Uzbekistan in the upcoming world championships, as well as the organization of competitions at the regional and national levels will contribute to the further implementation of international standards in the Vocational Training System, which in turn will contribute to improving the economy and local industries.