UK wins bid to host WorldSkills 2011
The UK has won a bid to host the WorldSkills Competition in London in 2011. Voting took place on Wednesday in Melbourne at the WorldSkills Annual General Meeting with delegates from the 38 different member nations of the WorldSkills organisation.
WorldSkills, held every two years, will take place in London from the 6th to the 9th October 2011. The competition will be in ExCeL London, one of the main venues for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The UK bid faced strong competition from Australia and Sweden.
The last WorldSkills competition was held in 2005 in Helsinki, Finland where almost 700 competitors took part in the event.
Education and skills secretary Alan Johnson said: "This is wonderful news. We now have a unique chance with the Government, business and the education sector working closely together to raise the status of skills and vocational education dramatically and inspire a new generation of youngsters to take up good careers in all sectors of the economy."
Chris Humphries, chairman of UK Skills, the organisation which spearheaded the UK bid, said: "This is such an achievement for the UK. We now have the foundations to raise the profile of WorldSkills in the UK and at a global level.
"We also now have the chance to raise the profile of the skills that will make the London Olympic and Paralympic Games possible. For too long the vocational route has been seen as inferior to academic studies but succeeding in the skills sector takes just as much dedication, determination and hard work. Participating in Skills Competitions drives forward individuals' aspirations, provides them with a way to benchmark their skills and to recognise their achievements.
"Watching over 700 young people compete to attain World Class standards in skills is truly exhilarating and I can't wait for 2011 when London will host the WorldSkills Competition, it will be absolutely incredible."
Liz Smith, unionlearn director, commented: "This is great news for the UK and British workers. It is a real opportunity for business, government, the education sector and unions to work together to raise the level of UK training and skills. As Union Learning Reps are proving across the UK, investment in skills and learning pays dividends to business and workers.
"My congratulations to Chris Humphries, and all the team at UK Skills, who were responsible for our successful bid."
The 2011 event will be the 41st WorldSkills Competition. Forty countries will compete for medals in skills areas ranging from hairdressing and beauty therapy to landscape skills and welding.
The bidding to host the 2011 WorldSkills Competition began in September 2005. After validation in January 2006 by two visiting WorldSkills board members UK Skills was given the green light to submit a formal bid by 31st March 2006. Claridge's, L'Oréal Professionnel and Honda worked with the UK team in Melbourne to lobby for delegates' votes.
UK Skills says there has been strong support for the UK bid from the Government, the Mayor of London, business and individuals. Sponsors have pledged £11million in funding, which the Government has pledged to match if the bid proves successful. This funding would cover the costs of hosting the event, at around £22 million, which the Government has also agreed to underwrite.
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UK Bid Partners: City & Guilds, the Department for Education and Skills, Edge, The Honda Institute, the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government
UK bid supporters include: Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings Ltd, AMEC , Angus College , Anne Tyrell Design, Association of Colleges , BBC, Borough of Newham Volunteers, Brathay, British Computer Society, British Council , British Hospitality Association, CBI, City and Guilds, Cisco Systems, City of London, Chapter One Restaurant, Claridge's Hotel, Confederation of British Industry, Cosmetics Executive Women UK, Data Connection, Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, DCMS, DTI, Edexcel, Edge, ExCeL London, Federal Mogul, FESTO Ltd, FLUKE, Greater London Authority, Hanson Building Products, Harcourt Education, Highlands and Islands Executive, HONDA UK, IiP UK, Irwins, Jaeger, Jewsons, Karl Vella Group, Learndirect Scotland, Learning and Skills Council, L' Oreal, LIVE, London Development Agency, London First, McAVOY, Marks Barfield Architect, NCFE, Newham Volunteers, Oaklands College, The 02, Radisson Edwardian Mayfair, The Rainbird Group plc, Scottish Adult Learning Partnership, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Executive, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Sector Skills Alliance Authority, Sector Skills Development Agency, Skills Active, Skills Active Wales, Thames Water, The Competitive Edge, Trade Union Congress, QCA, UKVisas, VisitBritain, Visit London, Visit Scotland, Welsh Assembly Government, Whitland Engineering'Exclusive clothing' for the UK delegation provided by Jaeger
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