The opening ceremony of China International Skills Competition 2017 is held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center on Tuesday night.(Dong Jun)
The president of WorldSkills International, Simon Bartley, praised Shanghai's organization of the China International Skills Competition 2017 after a visit to the World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center on Wednesday.
"What I have seen and what I have heard from the experts is that the competition is well organized and it's a good start," he said.
"One thing that I was very impressed about this competition was that they have invited international competitors and also international experts, so that China can measure itself against some of the best in the world," he added.
"And that benchmarking is key to competitions and key to WorldSkills."
Bartley said WorldSkills was created in 1950 in Spain for a competition between Spain and Portugal to improve youth employment in the work place. The competition was designed so that educators could compare and contrast what was happening in both the countries.
The competitions are still conducted the same way to give an idea to parents and teachers about the quality of skills and to make them realize that a job based on technical education was as good as a university education.
"By hosting the event, one legacy a country or city will have is that the competitors and the media will demonstrate to parents, teachers and employers that there is a real value in technical and vocation skills," he added. "So when the cities are bidding, they are also focused on the future."
As China is bidding to host the 46th WorldSkills Competition in Shanghai in 2021, Bartley said the 77 member countries of WorldSkills will vote in October in Abu Dhabi to decide where they think their young people's future would be best served.
Switzerland is the other bidding country.
Bartley stressed the importance of skills and the global cooperation on skills development, especially in vocational education, during his visit to Shanghai.
"All countries need a mixture of skilled workers who have been trained with their heads, hearts and hands, as well as those only with their heads and hearts," he said. "So the training that concentrates on using hands is really important. Without it, a country cannot survive or prosper economically in the global market."
He said conversation, exchange of ideas, mutual visits was something that would never be enough for development of skills, praising the forum and the competition held in Shanghai this week.
A forum on skills and development was held on Tuesday. The three main topics discussed were: high-quality apprenticeship, poverty alleviation through skills development and WorldSkills standards.
"You can see here with the 35 countries and regions participating. There is a real thirst, a real hunger for countries to compare and contrast, not only the best of the competitors, but the ways in which they teach and train young people back in their schools, factories and businesses," he said.
"I would encourage every country in the world to cooperate on skills education because it is education that will save this planet and give everybody on it a positive, good and safe future," he added.