Keeping the skills alive

The World Skills competition is a bi-annual event where competitors aged between 16-21, from 58 countries compete at the highest level in their respective vocation.  The 2011 event was held in London at the ExCel Centre (5-8 October). On show were skills to include:  Hair Dressing, Stone Masonry, Floristry, Bricklaying, Aircraft Maintenance, Confectionary, Cabinet Making, Welding, Electronics…a list of 4o plus disciplines! The techniques and levels of accuracy demonstrated by these young people were astounding, especially considering the intense pressure that they are under. In most cases competitor abilities are more advanced than their more senior practitioners in the trade. Not forgetting they are already champions in their home countries!

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I’ve managed to grab a few shots from the event however it was hard to do justice  to the huge exhibition space buzzing with activity. Competitors are generally performing the same tasks quite often using different practices and equipment to achieve the same results (which I found fascinating!). It’s great to see some of the more traditional practices such as Stone Masonry and Carpentry holding their own and demonstrating their relevance to more modern practices such as Mechatronics and  IT Software Design. I can highly recommend this event, however it’ll be a few years before it returns to London.  If you do ever find yourself in a host nation whilst it’s on be sure to drop in, it’s usually free and well worth the time to visit!

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