Worldskills Kazan 2019 starts today


The 45th Worldskills International Championship in Kazan begins today. This event will last until August 27.
Worldskills is an international non-profit association. It was founded in 1953 with two goals: raising the standards of vocational training in general and popularizing individual professions through international competitions.

Five years ago, in 2014, Belarus joined this movement. The Republican Institute of Vocational Education became the national operator of Worldskills. During this period, three national contests of professional excellence were held. Also, Belarus participated in the 43rd and 44th Worldskills international championships, which were held in Brazil in 2015 and in the United Arab Emirates in 2017. The number of skills was constantly growing. This time there will be a total of 40.

On the eve of the departure of the Belarusian national team, RIPO Rector Valery Golubovski gave an interview to Radio Belarus, in which he spoke in detail about Belarus’s participation in the upcoming championship.


Arseny Ermolovich (Anderson): Could you, please, explain to those who don’t know yet – what is WorldSkills?

Valery Golubovski: WorldSkills is not a program, but a movement. It is non-profit. Its goal is to increase the status of vocational education and standards of professional training around the world. It was created in the post-war period, actively gaining momentum in the 80s and 90s. It may be compared with the Olympic Games, only in professional skills field. Young people under the age of 22 may participate. It doesn’t matter, if they’re college or university students or even young workers.

Today, about 80 countries are participating. The skills they demonstrate are divided into six blocks: transport and logistics, construction, engineering, information technology, art and fashion, social services.

AE: RIPO is a WorldSkills national operator in Belarus. How did this come by? Why exactly Republican Institute for Vocational Education?

VG: The Republican Institute for Vocational Education answers for the content of training. For all sectors of the economy, all professional lyceums and colleges are teaching according to the plans, programs, educational standards that are developed by RIPO in cooperation with industry government bodies and organizations, interested in skilled personnel. So, when it came to the development of the WorldSkills movement in Belarus, RIPO was the first choice, since it’s the closest in its activities to act as a national operator. On behalf of the Ministry of Education, these functions were delegated to the Institute.

2014, when the Republican Committee of WorldSkills Belarus was established by the order of the Prime Minister, is the starting point of the movement. The country decided to join it and announced that to the international organization. WorldSkills holds, just like the Olympic Games, General Assembly meetings, where the member states vote for the inclusion of a new country. They also vote for the venue of the next World Cup. This year it’s in Kazan. It was decided in 2015, that is, two championships earlier. And the development of the movement has slowly gained momentum in Belarus since 2014.

As of today, we have already held three national championships, which were preceded by regional ones. Each region has its own competitive selection, where the best reach the national level – the republican championship. The national team is formed in accordance with its results.

We started in 2014 with 20 skills. Today there are 33 of them, meaning, the number is constantly growing. If we talk about our international experience, then the first one was gained 2015 in Sao Paulo, with only 15 skills to demonstrate. At the time we were still learning ropes and did not quite understand all the features of participation in this large-scale movement. At the same time, the experts and the leadership of the WorldSkills movement recognized that the start of the Belarusian team in this movement was the most effective, because, despite the fact that the country is a newcomer, the participants did not take last places in any competence. All were in the middle ground, and two guys even received medals for the highest professional skill in Fashion Design and Hairdressing.

Our second championship was in Abu Dhabi in 2017. There, the country has demonstrated 27 skills, which is a significant increase. Participation in this movement is not just about competitiveness, finding out who’s the best. For us it was important to get access to world-class tasks. As an example – the plumbing skill. It’s got design functions. When the customer formulates the repair task, which includes installing certain water supply and heating systems, the plumber himself must work out a project in this small space, order the appropriate materials for the project, then assemble them, check the system under pressure, and turn in to the customer. Traditionally, mass jobs are such that sanitary work is carried out at large facilities under the supervision of a head master, who already works out all these issues for the worker.

Others receive functions of using installation software products by which they make up automated control programs: from design to the manufacture of parts. The entire module takes up 6 hours. Previously, three people did this – the operator produces, and the mechanic adjusts the machine to the program compiled by the technologist. The direction is optimization of functions, their integration into a more complex specialty.

All these areas made it possible to see where the development of qualifications in the world is moving, and it moves towards technology, modern high-tech production. We used this experience to update the content of educational and training programs for workers. That is the most important perk given by the movement.
Another important plus of this movement is that some of the previous championship participants remain in the vocational education system as masters and teachers. This is most valuable. They’ve got unique experience, knowledge, world-class skills, and now are able to integrate this knowledge and pass it on to the younger people who come to the system to receive those modern professions.

Competitions will be held from August 22nd to 27th in Kazan on the territory of the Kazan Expo, one of the largest exhibition complexes. This is the 45th international championship, there are more than 1,5 thousand participants from 63 countries. 2000 world-class experts will come to judge. Our experts are already acting as certified international one, and will judge participants from other countries. 2,5 thousand volunteers will also arrive, about a thousand media representatives, more than 250 thousand visitors are planned. This is the scale of the competition.
There will be 56 skills in the championship, we participate in 33. These are those that correspond to our types of economic activities, to our economy. There are 36 participants from Belarus. Some skills require two people to work as a team, as in mechatronics or mobile robotics.

AE: What is the team line-up?

VG: The team includes not only college students, but also university students, and even young workers – in welding and BIN technologies. These are two skills being demonstrated by young workers from the real economy sector. In addition, there will be 13 junior skills in the championship. Our country demonstrates just three. And there is a new block called Future Skill. It is introduced at the World Cup for the first time: 3D-prototyping, the Internet of things, digital modeling, and many other skills (around 24). We are participating in three so far. The skills are: quantum technologies, industrial design and BIN information modeling technology (for digital modeling in construction, from design to detailed repairs, the entire life cycle of a building).

Competitions are quite interesting. They are unique both in scale and in outcome. Of course, we would like to win as many medals and, preferably, prizes, as possible. But the competition is very strong, Asian countries are strongly represented. Over the past two years, the Russian Federation has greatly advanced to the top. We set ourselves the task of getting as close as possible to the three leaders so that we could see the results against the backdrop of the previous championship in Abu Dhabi in 2017. We see growth primarily in this. But of prime importance are new contacts and new technologies that our experts will bring to our country and implement in the educational process, and begin to teach in accordance with the updated programs.

AE: Preparation for such large-scale competitions, of course, requires a lot of efforts and support. Who helped our team?

VG: The Institute, being a national operator, organizes the entire process. For example, the scale of the national championship is 299 participants. It was organized by RIPO in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and enterprise partners. Before that there were regional competitions, and the best were chosen. From each region there were 30-40 participants, who made it to the national championship. From Minsk, which is larger in scale, there were 86 people. In addition, there were a few international participants in 2018: 19 from the Russian Federation and 7 from the Republic of Kazakhstan.

More than 113 enterprises are partners in organizing: some with direct financial resources, some with the transfer of equipment and tools. The coordination of this work was carried out by the Republican Institute under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.


AE: What would you wish our contestants before the Championship?

Just the other day, we held a team meeting with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, the Minister of Education and social partners. Everyone, from government officials to experts, extended best wishes to the contestants. First of all, I’d like to wish them to use their ability to do the work without being distracted. Just concentrate and show the skill that they possess. The contestants are well trained, promising, tech-smart. Of course, there is an element for psychological stability, as in large-scale competitions, when there are a lot of spectators, a lot of distracting different elements, sounds, and so on. Therefore, I wish them to concentrate on performing the work in full and at the time allotted, to show the result that they actually have today, which is quite high. Good luck on world platforms!

Interview with Valery Golubovski

 
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