EuroSkills 2014 Concludes on High Note

Earlier this month, Lille Grand de Palais, France played host to EuroSkills 2014. EuroSkills is the biggest skills convention in Europe, which saw 450 skilled workers from 25 separate countries coming together to compete for the title.
EuroSkills sees young professionals from a variety of skilled trades come together to compete, and this includes many trades that fall within the construction industry. In the impressive closing ceremony of the event, results were announced and titles awarded. Within each skill category, the top three competitors were rewarded with Olympic-style gold, silver and bronze medals. For each of the 25 participating nations, a “Best in Country” title was awarded to the highest-scoring individual originating from that country. Lastly, a prestigious “Best of Europe” title was awarded to the single highest-scoring competitor of all. This year’s Best of Europe title was awarded to Austrian Oliver Anibas, who competed in the Industrial Control category.
Many skilled trades were represented at the event, from beauty therapy to cooking. A large number of these related to the construction sector. Overall, the construction and building technology industries made up a third of the event by skill numbers, accounting for 15 of the 41 trades that were included in the event. Construction-related trades in evidence ranged from brichlaying and architectural stonemasonry, through plumbing, air conditioning and electrical work, to painting and decorating, floor laying and carpentry.
Of the 25 competing nations, Austria came first, with the country’s competitors achieving the greatest total number of titles including the Best of Europe title. They were followed by host nation France, and then Finland.
The event is organised by WorldSkills Europe, and hosted by member organisation Worldskills France. Though competition for medals and titles was very much a prominent part of EuroSkills 2014, the event was not a purely competitive one. It also brought together prominent figures involve with industry, education and training in the various skill areas that were represented. A number of seminars, meetings and conferences were held to develop the future of skilled trades and the opportunities they offer for young people.
The event also provide an opportunity for young people to discover trades that they might be interested in when pursuing a career. This aspect of the event attracted almost 90,000 visitors over the three days of EuroSkills 2014 – the highest number a EuroSkills event has yet seen. These young people had the opportunity to try out trades for themselves and get a feel for what they involved, as well as to get more information on training programmes and meet people who are already involved in these areas of work.

The next EuroSkills event will be held in 2016 in Gothenburg. In the closing ceremony, current host nation France handed the EuroSkills flag over to the next host, which is a tradition of the event.
Results and more here:
Matthew Scott