In Riga Experts From 29 Countries Will Discuss Promotion of Development of Skills of Young People in Europe

News, 04.06.2019

This week, from 5 to 8 June, the General Assembly of WorldSkills Europe organisation will take place in Riga, during which 90 experts from 29 countries will discuss the development of vocational education and international skills competitions. The General Assembly is an annual event, which will take place in Riga for the first time. It is organised by the State Education Development Agency (SEDA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia.

WorldSkills Europe organisation is an international association of member states that initiates and promotes development of excellence in the field of skills and competence development. The organisation positions and raises awareness of the importance of professional excellence and high-quality vocational education of young people in Europe.

With the support of WorldSkills Europe the EuroSkills competition, which is also referred to as the Olympic Games of Skills, takes place every other year in one of the European countries. Young people from 30 countries demonstrate on the European scope the capacity of vocational education of their country and skills acquired in every economic sector in more than 45 professions. The competition is organised interchangeably with the global professional skills competition WorldSkills and encourages introduction of world class standards of skills in Europe, adding trends of the global economy and industries to EuroSkills requirements.

In 2017 Dita Traidās was elected the president of WorldSkills Europe. She is the director of SEDA and the head of SkillsLatvia. D.Traidas works on the board of the organisation since 2014. “WorldSkills Europe member states, cooperation partners, and stakeholders, with who we would like to improve and strengthen the role of our organisation and EuroSkills in vocational education by raising it to a new level, will take part in the General Assembly. We work together to make the European professional excellence movement a great example for other parts of the world,” emphasises D.Traidas.

The General Assembly decides about the organisation's strategy and development, including new skills and professions in European level professional skills competitions for young people, selects organisers of future competitions, develops cooperation with European sector associations aimed at establishing standards of skills and use of sectors experts knowledge, accepts new countries as members in the organisation and discusses the position of the European region in relation to WorldSkills International. The assembly also makes decisions on collaboration with the European Commission and other foreign and international institutions. The organisation develops international standards of vocational education for professions in all sectors for young people aged 17 - 25 and jointly develops sectoral expertise, since sectoral experts create tasks for competitions in cooperation with entrepreneurs.

Skills Latvia team participated in a EuroSkills competition for the first time in Portugal in 2010. Students of Latvian vocational education institutionshave participated in 5 EuroSkills competitions all in all with a considerable success – they won 5 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals, along with 16 medals for excellence. In 2018 in Hungary during the last EuroSkills competition young people from Latvia won 2 gold medals in fashion technologies, a silver medal in window dressing, a medal for excellence in website development and truck maintenance and 2 medals for excellence in information and communication technologies.

Worldskills Europe is a regional organisation (founded in 2008) of Worldskills International with beginnings in 1946, when Spain suffered from the lack of skilled workers. One of solutions to this problem was organising of professional skills competitions and the first competition took place as early as in 1950. Young people from enterprises from all around Spain competed to obtain titles of master craftsmen, adults discussed innovation and results, spectators and pupils had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the diversity of professions and secrets of crafts.

This idea of professional skills competitions has luckily survived to our days and grown from a Spanish national competition to impressive global competitions, as well as into a permanent organisation of the European region and the professional excellence competition of young people Euroskills.