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3 February 2017

Competition Preparation Week a success

Competition Preparation Week for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 held in February was a tremendous success.  The event, which was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) and organised by the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 team, included an extremely productive set of meetings. More than 300 delegates travelled to Abu Dhabi to prepare for what promises to be an unforgettable Competition and event later in the year. In addition, there were meetings about the implementation of the WorldSkills strategy, Vision 2025, and the continued development of the organization.

During the week the WorldSkills Board and CEO were received by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Board went to the Sea Palace in Abu Dhabi with His Excellency Mubarak Al Shamsi, Director-General of ACTVET, and Ali Al Marzouqi, President of EmiratesSkills. The Crown Prince reiterated his commitment to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, which is being held under his patronage. He also stressed that the event will “play a vital role in promoting the spirit of innovation and technical knowledge among the youth and in facilitating interaction among the different cultures”.

The One School One Country programme was launched in a sea of colour, as students from 59 local schools welcomed representatives of the WorldSkills Member countries and regions. The room was filled with different national flags, as children and their teachers were paired with Members. On 12 October 2017, the UAE schoolchildren will meet the Competitors from their matched team to learn about each other and their respective cultures, while increasing international awareness of vocational skills.

The launch of One School One Country, included an elaborate and colourful dance by more than 50 schoolgirls from the UAE. Then children and teachers from the schools took to the stage waving flags as it was announced which school would be paired with which Member.

In his speech at the event, His Excellency Mubarak Al Shamsi said, "WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 represents not just the world as it is, but the world as it will be. […] The UAE is seen across the region and the world as a place where hard work and commitment are rewarded, and respect and tolerance are a cornerstone of society.” 

One of the core outcomes of Competition Preparation Week 2017 were the successful Competitions Committee and Skill Management meetings. During these the preparation for the skill competitions at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 was advanced, including Infrastructure Lists and workshop layouts. There were also joint planning meetings with sponsors to finalize the required tools and equipment.

The Team Leader Working Group, which includes representatives of seven Member countries and regions, assessed the hospitality and logistics that are being developed by WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. They received updates and provided feedback on various elements of the Competitor experience including One School One Country, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, excursions, the venue, facilities in Abu Dhabi, and cultural awareness.

The marketing and communications update to the Skills Management meeting outlined the forthcoming WorldSkills campaigns and activities, which include the launch of the gender equality campaign, #HeForShe, World Youth Skills Day in July, and the Competition in October.

Registration for the WorldSkills Conference Programme for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be released later in February along with the full programme, and material to support Members bringing delegations to the event. The conference will focus on the demands of, and solutions for, issues in skills excellence, and development including future skills, and mobilization of labour.

WorldSkills Champions Trust representatives Gary Condon and Ricardo Vivian, participated in the CPW connecting with partners, the Competition Committee, and Skill Managers. Dubai-based Gary noted, “WorldSkills is a lot more than just the Competition. Workshop Managers, Skill Managers, and Experts explore many routes to ensure their skill area is prepared for C1. It's wonderful to see all nationalities coming together to create a successful event. This past week has once again made me inspired and excited for WorldSkills to be in the UAE!”

Interviews with many CPW delegates will be released as part of the Champions Trust podcasts series over the coming weeks. The first CPW podcast interviewing Jane Stokie, Director of Skills Competitions, can be heard at the Champions Trust Podcast Channel.

Finally, CEOs from fifteen Member organizations gathered to discuss topics and share best practices between national skills organizations. Topics included Future Skills, training additional national skill advisors, and implementing Vision 2025.