The Kazan City Press Center hosted a news conference with President of WorldSkills International Simon Bartley, Deputy Director General at the Directorate of Sport and Social Projects Emil Gubaidullin, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Andrei Pominov and member of the WorldSkills International Youth Forum Anna Prokopenya. During the event, Simon Bartley presented the WorldSkills competition and talked about Kazan's preparations for hosting the first WorldSkills event in Russia.
Bartley noted that Kazan will be the first city in Russia to host a WorldSkills competition of professional excellence for young people, with disciplines ranging from welding and brick laying to robotics and electronics.
"The competition consists of comparing skills shared across the world and that are increasingly relevant," he pointed out.
At the news conference, he talked about his visit to the construction site of the competition venue, the Kazan Expo Center, and his conversations with World Cup volunteers, who intend to take part in the WorldSkills competition in the same capacity. Bartley added that he visited the FIFA Fan Fest on July 10 to watch France against Belgium match, and said that he intended to come there to watch the second semifinals on July 11.
Deputy Director General at the Directorate of Sport and Social Projects Emil Gubaidullin said that Kazan competed against Paris (France) and Charleroi (Belgium) for the right to host the WorldSkills event. He also reminded the journalists that the competition included six categories of competences: Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, Social and Personal Services, Information and Communication Technology, Creative Arts and Fashion, Construction and Building Technology, and Transportation and Logistics.
"In addition to this, another block, called Future Skills, will be added at the 2019 competition in Kazan, dealing with the competences of the future that Russia is promoting. These are the skills that are expected to take center stage in professional training in the near future," Gubaidullin pointed out.
He also noted that accredited WorldSkills participants will not need any visas to enter the country. The competition in Russia will also innovate by introducing WorldSkills Junior for youngsters between 10 and 17 years old.
First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Andrei Pominov said that the WorldSkills system serves as a navigation guide when it comes to improving vocational training.
"This helps us understand how to equip our educational institutions and what must change in terms of educational content. At the end of the day, we learn what professions will be required in the short and long term," Pominov pointed out.
He went on to say that Russia did not win any medals at its first WorldSkills championships in Leipzig in 2013. However, at the 2017 event an Abu-Dhabi Russia won the most points and placed fifth in the medal tally.
"I'm impressed by the talent of Russia's young professionals trained by Russian vocational education institutions," Simon Bartley said.
Anna Prokopenya shared her experience of competing in WorldSkills events as a professional confectioner, saying that the championship served as a springboard for promoting specific professions, helped professionals improve their skills and develop consumer expectations.
"Within just a few years you will feel improvements in the level of professional excellence in Russia," Prokopenya noted.
Kazan will host WorldSkills competition in August 2019, bringing together 1,400 contenders from more than 60 countries, as well as 250,000 spectators. The event's target audience consists of school graduates and university students seeking to try themselves out in various professions and attend various career advice events.
"At the 2018 FIFA World Cup people can spend ninety minutes or two hours in order to find out which of the two teams is faster and can score better marks. In my skill competition, you can spend the same time watching teams from several countries compete in making a one-meter high chocolate sculpture," Anna Prokopenya said in conclusion.