Abu Dhabi

Students from around the world to compete in Abu Dhabi

Jasmine Al Kuttab/Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 30, 2017
Representational Image

World Skills was created in 1950 in Spain when there was a vast youth unemployment

Flag-waving school students greeted international delegates on Monday at the launch of the One School One Country programme, which forms a key part of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 which will take place in October.

Under the One School One Country programme, students from 59 Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) schools welcomed representatives of the member countries taking part in WorldSkills to be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

For the first time in the UAE and for the first time in an Arab nation, students from across the world will unite in October, visiting their adopted schools on the eve of this year's competition for a day of celebration.

The One School One Country exchange programme will bring children, WorldSkills member countries and regions together, to share each cultures and values, while increasing awareness about the power of vocational skills, in order to improve lives and youth unemployment around the world.

Mubarak Al Shamsi, director-general of ACTVET, highlighted that the event enables children from all backgrounds to come together and reveal their unique skills, which they have been working on effortlessly.

Al Shamsi pointed out that such events encourage future generations to discover their hobbies and interests.

"WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 is a celebration of youth and for the youth; one that we will witness with pride and with hope for the future generations," added Al Shamsi.

Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills, spoke to Khaleej Times about why it is crucial to encourage students from an early age.

"Everybody likes competitions, looks at what we do about the Olympics. It unites people and develops enthusiasm."

"'The schools from across the UAE gathered here today for the launch of One School One Country are not only responsible for educating the children that they teach but in doing so are responsible for ensuring our futures, the future of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the future of the world."


 Encouraging youth entrepreneurs

Simon Bartley explained that the One School One Country programme was an initiative developed in Japan, back in 2007, which saw tremendous success.

"It's the first time in their lives (young competitors) are treated as someone really special."

"We shouldn't forget that the competition is testing the competitors to the extreme, many of them are away from their homes and families for the first time, suddenly being bathed in adoration, which brings a little home to them," he added.

He said that the organisation's drive is focusing on issues of youth unemployment.

"World Skills was created in 1950 in Spain when there was a vast youth unemployment."

"Young people had nowhere to go. The Minister in Spain asked Albert Vidal to come up with a solution to encourage young people to enter vocational or craft technical education."

Bartley explained that Albert Vidal believed that to encourage the youth to have vocational skills, there needed to be a competition - and thus, WorldSkills was born.

He pointed out that the event is significant in driving adult skills in young people in the UAE, adding that it was Abu Dhabi's decision to host the competition based as part of the nation's development plan on creating vast opportunities and skills, while the population grows.

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, will be the world's biggest vocational skills competition. It is open to the public for free at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADEC) from 15 - 18 October, with invitation-only opening and closing ceremonies at the du Arena on 14 October and 19 October.


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