Worldskills - Question and Answer brief

What is WorldSkills?

WorldSkills is the largest vocational skills competition in the world. It takes place every two years in a host country and features around forty five different skill areas ranging from construction crafts like bricklaying and joinery to fashion design and floristry, from autobody repair to beauty therapy, caring, cooking and hairdressing.

When is the next WorldSkills competition being held?

The last WorldSkills competition was held in Leipzig, Germany on 2 to 7 July, 2013. This was a great opportunity for Northern Ireland competitors to compete in their chosen skill to represent their country. It involved around 1000 competitors from 50 countries competing over four days of intense competition.

How do I get an opportunity to compete at WorldSkills in my chosen skill?

The route to WorldSkills starts with competing in a WorldSkills UK competition. These are quality assured regional and national skills competitions, which run annually and aim to encourage people across the UK to excel in their vocational skill.

How do I apply to participate in a WorldSkills UK competition?

Registrations for the 2013 cycle of  Worldskills UK competitions closed on 22 March 2013. So if you have a talent and want to get involved you can get more information about the various competitions on line at at the Worldskills UK website external link.

WorldSkills UK competitions are free to enter. You must have the support of your college, university or employer before entering a competition.

Is there an age requirement for WorldSkills UK competitions?

No. WorldSkills UK competitions are open to those 16 and over with no upper age limit.

Is there an age limit for WorldSkills competitions?

Yes. There is an upper age limit for competing at WorldSkills competitions. Competitors must be no more than 22 in the year of the competition and for Mechatronics, Aeronautical Engineering and Engineering Challenge competitors must be no more than 25 in the year of competition.

What are the benefits of vocational skills competitions?

Skills competitions are a key tool in raising standards of training, promoting skills, up-skilling the workforce, enhancing business performance in the economy and showcasing the opportunities that a vocational career route can offer. To this end they benefit the individual, the trainer, the college, the training organisation and the employer. As the economy recovers, it is a highly trained workforce that will help strengthen the economy.

How has Northern Ireland performed at previous WorldSkills competitions?

Northern Ireland has an excellent record at WorldSkills competitions. In 2005 the NI competitors won a gold medal for autobody repair and a Medallion for Excellence in plumbing. In 2007 the NI competitor won a bronze medal for car painting. In 2009 the NI competitor won a bronze medal for joinery. In 2011 there were seven NI competitors on the UK Team and they won a gold medal in bricklaying, a silver medal in landscape gardening, a bronze medal in refrigeration and air conditioning and Medallions for Excellence in mechatronics.

How do I find out more information about WorldSkills UK competitions and WorldSkills?

In the first instance you should contact your local college or training provider and more information is available on line at at the Worldskills UK website external link and Worldskills International website external link