Information in English
As the national secretariat within the Economic Chamber organisation, SkillsAustria coordinates the Austrian state competitions which are held to qualify candidates for WorldSkills and EuroSkills in cooperation with the federal guilds and professional associations of the federal sections for Crafts and Trade; Tourism and Leisure; Industry; Information and Consulting; as well as with the VET schools and colleges.
In addition, SkillsAustria is responsible for coaching and sending the Austrian team to the international professional competitions WorldSkills and EuroSkills as well as for public relations activities.
Both WorldSkills and EuroSkills are international professional competitions that represent major events for the respective host country to present their own (vocational) education and training system and also constitute showcases for the quality of the business location.
The competitions held in the individual occupations can also be seen as contests of national vocational education and training (VET) systems. - This includes, for example, that the dual VET system, which exists in only some Central European countries, fights against merely school-based systems (primarily in Northern Europe and Asia) or the essentially company-specific training system of the USA and other countries.
Austria and WorldSkills
The provider organisation of WorldSkills – i.e. professional competitions with some 900 participants – is the non-profit organisation WorldSkills International, which was founded in 1953 and the Secretariat of which is seated in the Netherlands.
The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber has been a member of WorldSkills International since 1958 and has regularly sent participants to compete since 1961. In 1983 competitions were held in Linz, Upper Austria, with 300 competitors.
This country has come out as the winning nation or ranked among the top 3 in the national ranking several times. Since 1961 a total of 476 participants have competed for Austria and have been able to win 195 medals – 71 gold, 58 silver, 66 bronze and 175 "Medallion for Excellence" diplomas.
Austria and EuroSkills
Since 2007 Austria has been a member of ESPO (European Skills Promotion Organisation), which was founded in the same year. ESPO’s members are the member states of the EU, EFTA and candidate countries.
ESPO’s main objective is to promote skills’ excellence, vocational education and training and craftsmanship, with a focus on young European people. The competition aims to upgrade technical and vocational training paths and, in this way, show the EU’s competitiveness.
The first EuroSkills competition was held in 2008 in Rotterdam (Netherlands) with 400 contestants and highly successful Austrian participation – 16 participants were able to achieve 15 medals overall and 20 medals in 2012. 2014 the Austrian Team with 36 participants were able to achieve 19 medals!
These excellent successes – both in the WorldSkills and the EuroSkills – have only been possible thanks to the consistent and generous support by Austrian training companies, the Economic Chamber organisation, the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, and the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, the outstanding commitment of many honorary experts who coach the participants before and during the contest, train them professionally in their specialist field and also accompany them mentally on their way to the winners’ rostrum.
To qualify, every Austrian participant first of all needs to take part successfully in the Austrian championships.
These national championships and the subsequent targeted preparation of every individual and the entire team are the prerequisites for success.
In addition, the way towards becoming an Austrian participant in the WorldSkills competition (max. age 22 years) and EuroSkills (max. age 25 years) also comprises ...
- consistent and generous support by the company and the Economic Chamber
- commitment, supervision and specialist training by an expert in the respective occupation
- coaching and support by specific team coaches before and during the competition
- information seminars
- Team coaching seminars that last for several days and include sports psychology measures which ensure mental strength, team spirit and physical fitness for the demands made on the participants on the competition days.