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13 February 2017

WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 or WorldSkills Basel 2021?

WorldSkills never stands still – and even before the start of the 2017 event in Abu Dhabi, work has begun finding the city to host the global skills showcase in four years time.

Two Members, China and Switzerland, expressed interest in hosting WorldSkills 2021. Both countries are active and dedicated Members of WorldSkills and they have made compelling reasons to bring the global WorldSkills movement to their country. 

Speaking on the side lines of the recent Competition Preparation Week (CPW) in Abu Dhabi Jia Jie, the Team Leader for WorldSkills China said, "For China, the WorldSkills movement and skills competitions as a whole are a good tool to promote the spirit of craftsmanship, which was called for by Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's Republic of China, as well as to create a friendly atmosphere that respects skills and work.” 

"China has accumulated experience in skills development and TVET systems, which could be a solid foundation for China's bid. Every year, a great number of skill competitions at various levels take place nationwide, so China is experienced in organizing skill competitions.”

"China is now the second largest economy in the world and the largest developing country, as well as the most populous country. So, it is necessary to bring the WorldSkills Competition to China to raise the visibility of WorldSkills as a whole. At the same time, a WorldSkills Competition in China will raise recognition for skills and attract more young people to TVET in China. Through WorldSkills Competitions, the technical standards and curriculum of TVET have also been upgraded."

Switzerland, also made a comprehensive and appealing case to be the host of WorldSkills in four years, with Christine Davatz-Höchner, the country’s Official Delegate to WorldSkills pointing to Switzerland’s long association with the movement – it has been a WorldSkills member for more than 50 years and has hosted the Competition three times before (1968, 1997, and 2003). 

"We have seen the development of WorldSkills; it grows and grows and grows,” she said. “The venue two years ago in São Paulo was immense, and we know that the 2019 Competition venue in Kazan, Russia, is also huge.” 

“The growing size of the Competition in huge venues will become a real problem in the future with very few locations in the world able to carry out this event. The Swiss organization would like to find ways of keeping this Competition to a realistic size while focusing on high quality. By optimising space, we would enable a lot more countries to have the opportunity of hosting such a wonderful event in the future. What we really want to focus on is the quality of our Champions achievements, because we want to have the WorldSkills World Champions. That is our goal.”

"Two-thirds of our young people are apprentices," she said. "For us, it's a real career-building system. Other countries are coming to us to see how we do it because they need skilled people, not only academic people.”

Switzerland is proposing Basel as the host city, and China want to bring WorldSkills to Shanghai. The decision will be made at the General Assembly in Abu Dhabi later this year. WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 – the first to be held in the Middle East and North Africa – will take place in October. The Russian city of Kazan will host WorldSkills in August 2019.