Our Youth – Our Future
The Worldskills 2013 in Leipzig were an event not only for highly engaged and highly competent youth in 46 professions. It was also a cross-generation event. There were an equal amount of experts committed to mentor and coach their national winners to be able to compete with the best talents of 52 nations.
There were many meetings and conferences that took place in the Conference Center of Leipzig Messe organized and attended by European and OECD leaders about youth (un)employment from across the world. In this truly global effort, that will be the basis for a continuously engaged platform, you could meet Ministers, Law Makers, CEOs of companies and foundations. They came together to not only speak about the currently very bad situation for youth in many countries but to take action and offer perspectives and a future to their youth.
The focus was put on joining forces, using synergies, learning from other`s mistakes and successes to leverage existing knowledge for changing the way things are. The dual education system which has been an essential part of the national education system in Germany, Switzerland and Austria is believed to be a big part of the solution to low youth unemployment. I attended following conferences during the WorldSkills Competition:
Green Industrial Skills for Sustainable Development
Humanity faces enormous challenges in the sustainability of our current lifestyles and systems. The decisions we take can either move us in the direction of sustainability or contribute to the growing problems. Green Industries are the driver towards sustainability and currently experience a high growth time. It is crucial to have access to the necessary skills to be able to realize the potential growth path.
The conference took place on July 1, 2013 and started with a plenary sessions and keynote addresses from Nobel Peace prize Laureate H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson National League for Democracy in Myanmar, Ursula Müller from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Chakib Jeane and Marcos Pontes from UNIDO and Olga Strietska-Ilina from ILO. The following three panel discussions were dedicated to following topics:
- Panel 1: Green Industry Initiative
- Panel 2: Skills Development for renewable energy
- Panel 3: Worldskills and how to sustain the industry through green skills competition development
It was a very interesting day dominated by the questions of how VET Vocational Education and Training can solve this problem to fill the skills gap detected in this crucial sector.
European Alliance for Apprenticeships” (EAfA)
Please see article about this initiative.
Skilling the future: VET and Workplace learning for Economic Success
This international conference organized by the OECD and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research [BMBF] focused on the role of Vocational and Adult Education as well as Workplace learning as the emerging challenges. After the keynote parallel working groups started and engaged in the following topics
- VET and higher education: transition pathways and innovative blends of VET
- Systematic development of apprenticeships and workplace learning: changing roles of responsibilities of trainees, employers and social partners
- Innovative concepts for making the bridge between school and work
I participated in the working group three and presented the success story of Cisco Networking Academy – a CSR Program for educational organizations supplying a learning platform with IT Networking and System resources for IT skills development.
The Worldskills Conference Program 2013 “Our Youth – Our Future” was definitely a highlight of the WorldSkills Competition and will be instrumental to connect stakeholders on a global level to implement policies and programs that improve the situation and give our youth a prospective and positive outlook into the future of their nations.