London bids for ‘skills olympics’

Hot on the heels of London winning the 2012 Olympics, the UK is now bidding to become the host of the next ‘skills olympics’.

Chris Humphries, chairman of UK Skills, is setting off at the end of this week to convince countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas that the UK should host the 2011 World Skills Competition, ahead of a formal bid in May.

The event sees 1,000 people aged 20 to 22 years old compete for their countries to show they are the best in the world in their particular speciality. The categories range from traditional skills such as plumbing and landscape gardening to modern trades such as web design and building IT support networks.

The UK faces challenges from countries including old rival France to host the competition, but Humphries – the skills equivalent of Lord Sebastian Coe – said we had a strong bid.

“I think we will win – the competition is traditionally held in small towns and cities and if it is based in London it will be the first time it will have been held in a world-leading city,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to foster young people’s interest in vocational skills as well as showcasing the skills we have for putting together the Olympics.”

For Chris Humphries’ views on the UK’s impending skills crisis, click here.

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