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UK to submit bid to host 2011 WorldSkills competition
UK Skills is to submit a bid in March to host the 2011 WorldSkills competition.
The organisation says the Government has confirmed its support by pledging £11 million (half the £22 million required to host the event) if business sponsors and social partners also come on board.
WorldSkills is an international vocational skills competition held every two years. It brings together hundreds of young people to compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in 40 events ranging from engineering to beauty therapy, and from confectionery to stonemasonry.
WorldSkills is organised by the international vocational training organisation of the same name. The most recent WorldSkills was held in Helsinki last year where 800 competitors took. The UK was placed 12th.
Announcing the UK bid Chris Humphries, chair of UK Skills, said: "Being involved with the world's premier skills event is of paramount importance to the UK as the opportunity to showcase UK skills and know-how.
"Skills competitions are being used increasingly as part of the strategy to drive up standards and raise the esteem of vocational training. Combined with our recent success in bidding for the Olympic Games there has never been a better time for the UK to stage WorldSkills."
UK Skills was established in 1990 with the primary purpose of raising skills levels in the UK through skills competitions. It also manages the national team that competes in the World Skills Competition.
Skills minister Phil Hope said: "I am very happy to be actively involved in developing a bid to host WorldSkills in London in 2011. The impact of WorldSkills on raising our skills performance in the UK could be huge. WorldSkills has the potential to change the way that we train, to build the reputation of our training providers and to touch the lives of many people for years to come."
According to UK Skills, support has also been offered from ministers in the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Chris Humphries added: "WorldSkills provides the opportunity for UK industry to shine on a prestigious international platform. But we need business to come on board. Hosting an event of this magnitude will not only require funding, but also the equipment, raw materials and consumables used by the competitors.
"I am delighted with the level of support that we have already received from the Mayor of London, education charity Edge, City & Guilds, Honda Institute, Festo Didactic GB and L'Oreal Professional, demonstrating their commitment to 2011 in London."
In January a panel from WorldSkills will visit London to assess its suitability for hosting the event. If approved by the panel, the bid will be put forward for consideration by the full WorldSkills Council.
The final decision will be announced in May 2006 in Melbourne after presentations by candidate countries.
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