WorldSkills International has announced that WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 will be delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WorldSkills International says it has worked closely with its members, competition organisers, partners, and stakeholders throughout 2020, and recently hosted a series of meetings with all stakeholders to consider all possible scenarios transparently and collaboratively around risk management and risk mitigation. The organisation concluded that an early and clear decision was best for everyone so that a more informed decision can be made over the next 12-24 months.
This also means that all future events be moved back by one year, meaning that the following competition, WorldSkills Lyon 2023, will move to 2024.
The organisation says the Municipality of Shanghai, WorldSkills China, WorldSkills France and WorldSkills Lyon 2023 competition organisers have given their full support in postponing the events. The rescheduled date has not been finalised, but is expected to be between October and November 2022.
WorldSkills International says postponing the competitions allows for the selection, training and proper celebration of entrants and winners, and also allows members to ‘reboot’ their national activities and programmes in 2021.
“Our competitors represent the skilled talent that has been essential in the global response to the pandemic, demonstrating without a doubt that skills change lives,” said Chris Humphries, President and Chair of the Board. “We are grateful for the support of both WorldSkills China and WorldSkills France and their organising teams who have worked closely with WorldSkills International to reach what we all believe is the best solution to preserve the integrity and spirit of the competition.”
WorldSkills local and national competitions were put on hold throughout 2020, delaying the selection and training of teams to participate in WorldSkills Shanghai 2021. According to the organisation, members around the world have already begun planning and hosting alternative competitions and online training programmes to continue the work of encouraging young people to take up vocational education and training.
“We believe more than ever that skills and young people will lead us down the road to global economic recovery and prosperity,” said David Hoey, CEO of WorldSkills International. “Alongside our members and global partners, we will use the next 12 months to continue connecting with young people through a series of exciting and innovative programmes that will embrace a year of innovation and inspire more young people to take up skills.”