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Home > News > February 2007 > 27 February 2007

Business, education and skills leaders express support for 2011

Representatives from business, industry, education and skills are to attend a reception at 11 Downing Street today to celebrate the UK's success in winning the bid to host WorldSkills 2011.

The bi-annual WorldSkills event is an international competition for skills which brings together young adults from 48 countries to compete for medals in up to 40 skills.

The event lasts for 6 days with 4 days of competition and covers a wide spectrum of industry sectors from hospitality and construction to IT and engineering.

The next WorldSkills Competition will be held in Shizuoka, Japan in November this year, and Calgary, Canada in 2009. The 2011 WorldSkills event will take place from the 6th - 9th October 2011 at ExCeL London.

Alan Johnson MP, secretary of state for education and skills said: "WorldSkills 2011 provides a once in a life time chance to raise the status of vocational education and training and to permanently change public attitudes towards it, to inspire

young people to achieve the very best they're able to reach in their chosen skill and profession, and engage employers in their quest for a more productive and competitive workforce. Success at 2011 will provide a national celebration for achievement in vocational skills."

Jacqui Henderson CBE, chief executive of UK Skills, commented: "The recent Leitch Report warned of declining economic growth if the UK doesn't increase its skill levels. WorldSkills London 2011 will showcase excellence in vocational skills and the opportunities that the vocational career route can offer in the 21st century.

"The support we have received for 2011 from Government, business and the education sector demonstrates the number of people who already recognise the importance of skills and training to the UK. However we need more organisations and individuals to understand how serious investment in high quality training and development is directly related to excellence in the workplace and to get involved in not just WorldSkills but also the network of national competitions running throughout the UK".

Former director-general of the CBI and champion of WorldSkills London 2011, Sir Digby Jones said: "WorldSkills 2011 deserves the support of every UK business. This event and its legacy of a robust network of skills competitions for the UK, is poised to play a pivotal role in equipping our people to meet the challenges thrown up by competitive and constantly changing global markets.

"These competitions not only encourage technical excellence and world-class standards, but they help the workforce of the future develop other crucial skills. They encourage tenacity in the face of difficulties, time management, clear thinking under pressure and confidence in one's own abilities. All essential skills for a thriving economy."

WorldSkills 2011 supporters include: Department for Education and Skills, Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, The Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government, City & Guilds, FESTO, Edge, Claridge's Hotel, Confederation of British Industry, BBC, Corporation of London, Investors in People, London Mayor's Office, L'Oreal Professionnel, Learning and Skills Council, London First, Newham Volunteers, Sector Skills Development Agency, Honda (UK), Trades Union Congress, UK Skills, VisitBritain, VisitLondon

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