WorldSkills comes to an end in Abu Dhabi

Attending ministers said the competition helped encourage the nation’s young to look to vocational skills as an arena for achieving sustainable development post-oil

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 17 AUGUST 2017. Image from the general show floor at World Skills Exhibition at ADNEC. Seyed Behnam Heidarian Mechatronics (Iran). (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Roberta Penington. Section: Business.
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The Olympics games of skills concludes in the capital on Thursday after five days of rigorous competitions testing skills from welding to waitering.

More than 1,300 pupils and students between the ages of 17 and 25 and representing 77 member countries took part in WorldSkills this year with more than 100,000 local visitors estimated to have travelled to Abu Dhabi for the event.

Finals will be held on Thursday followed by the closing ceremony at 7.30pm in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which had to be expanded by nearly 40 per cent to accommodate the world’s largest vocational skills competition.

Ministers and experts who took part in the event said the competition helped project the country’s vision for future industries and encouraged the nation’s young to look to vocational skills as an arena for achieving sustainable development post-oil.

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The competition also provided a platform for dialogue between experts and young people from around the world in a bid to help improve the future of the education sector, they said.

“The ministry has worked with Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, ACTVET, within a strategic framework to implement the UAE leadership's directives to make the most of the world's most significant skills competition taking place for the first time in the Mena region,” said Minister of Education, Hussain Al Hammadi.

This week, representatives from Unesco-Unevoc agreed on the need for international action regarding the future of technical and vocational education and training, Mr Hammadi said.

“The UAE presented a unique vision of the future and the role of the youth in developing future industries,” said Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills International.

He said WorldSkills 2017 Abu Dhabi embodied this vision and provided a platform for young people across the globe to create, innovate, and prepare for the future.

Mr Bartley thanked the UAE for its efforts in organising the competition which he said provided a space for knowledge exchange and dialogue.