About Skills Competitions
The Finnish national team participates each year in either the EuroSkills or WorldSkills competitions. The Abilympics competition, which is for professionals requiring special support, is held approximately every four years.
Emeliina Papinniemi won a gold medal in Pâtisserie and Confectionery in WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Photo: WorldSkills.
Participating in competitions is an excellent way to develop the expertise of the personnel of the education organisers, offer students individual learning paths and also develop the operational activities of the entire organisation. Once the competition activities are recorded in the education organiser’s strategy, implementing them in the daily life of vocational education is flexible and goal-oriented. Vocational skills competitions increase the appeal of and appreciation for vocational education.
The WorldSkills competition is an international vocational skills competition for young people that is held every two years. The competition decides the world champion for around 50 different skills categories representing a range of vocational education and training sectors. In most of the skills categories, the competitors must be aged under 23 during the competition year. The rights to organise the WorldSkills competitions are granted by WorldSkills International.
Skills Finland joined WorldSkills International (formerly IVTO) in 1988. The following year, the Finnish team participated in the WorldSkills competition in Birmingham. With the exception of WorldSkills 1989, Finland has won medals every time. Finland hosted the WorldSkills Competition in Helsinki on 26–29 May 2005.
The official Finnish delegate is the Chairwoman of Skills Finland Seija Rasku, Counsellor of Education at the Ministry of Education and Culture. The technical delegate is Skills Finland’s Chief Technology Officer Hannu Immonen from the Turku Vocational Institute.
Held every other year, the EuroSkills competition is the European vocational skills championship. In the EuroSkills competition, vocational students and those who have already received their qualifications test their mettle in around 50 different skills categories. The competition emphasises team-based skills categories and new professions. Competitors must be aged between 18 and 25. Team Finland has participated EuroSkills since the first competition in 2008.
Skills Finland has been a member of WorldSkills Europe (formerly ESPO) since its establishment in 2007. Finland is one of the founding members of WorldSkills Europe. Finland's official delegate is Skills Finland's Chief Training Manager Teija Ripattila, who is also a member of the organisation's Board of Directors. Finland's technical delegate is Lecturer Tapio Kattainen of Business College Helsinki.
Vocational skills competitions for disabled people and professionals requiring special support promote worldwide awareness and appreciation of vocational special needs education and increase cooperation between educational institutions and workplaces. There is no age limit for the competition. The international Abilympics competition is held every four years.
Skills Finland joined International Abilympic Federation in 2005. Finland participated in the Abilympics competition for the first time in Japan in 2007. The official representative of Skills Finland at the International Abilympic Federation, and member in Executive Committee of IAF is Skills Finland board member Petteri Ora of the Kiipula Foundation.