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UK’s skills competition bid sealed with Hope
Skills minister Phil Hope put the seal on the UK’s bid to host the WorldSkills 2011 competition, by formally posting the bid from the House of Commons Post Office late last week to David Hoey, WorldSkills secretary general in the Netherlands.
WorldSkills is a global skills competition with around 700 young people from over 40 different countries competing in the biennial event. The young people compete for medals in almost 40 skill areas, ranging from hairdressing and beauty therapy to landscape skills and welding.
Phil Hope said: "The UK’s WorldSkills bid is the result of a huge amount of work by many people across the learning and skills sector, business and government. I would like to give my personal thanks to everyone who has supported the bid.
"An event on this scale in the UK will generate huge excitement and media interest in skills. WorldSkills will help us benchmark our performance against the best in the world and cement lasting partnerships between Government and business.
"By attracting sponsorship from UK firms it will boost the levels of employer investment in skills and raise aspirations across the country, improving the supply and demand for world class skills permanently.
"We want to improve the UK skills infrastructure and create a lasting legacy. Both WorldSkills 2011 and the 2012 Olympics are high profile opportunities which will drive the skills agenda forwards by linking in the public mind world class achievement in skills with world class achievement in sport and competition."
The bid document, which has been translated into German and French, details the UK’s proposal for hosting the WorldSkills Competition in London one year before the Olympics.
If the bid is successful, the competition will be hosted at ExCeL London, in Docklands, already earmarked as one of the venues for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Graeme Hall, chief executive of UK Skills, the agency responsible for spearheading the UK bid, said: "This is an enormously exciting day for Skills. It takes a great deal of time and effort to learn a vocational skill, and even more to excel at that skill. Yet skills do not enjoy the same public recognition as either GCSE’s or A Levels.
"Hosting the WorldSkills Competition in the UK will showcase skills in a way that has never been possible before, giving them the recognition they so deserve."
The last competition was held in 2005 in Helsinki, Finland where over 700 competitors took part in the event.
The UK won 3 medals; Gold in Autobody repair, and 2 silvers (stonemasonry and beauty therapy) as well as 7 medallions of excellence.
The decision on which city will host the 2011 competition will be made by delegates from the member nations of the WorldSkills organisation and formally announced on May 10th, in Melbourne, Australia, at the WorldSkills Annual General Meeting.
The UK is bidding against Gothenburg (Sweden), Melbourne (Australia) and Nantes (France).
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