Kazan: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday inaugurated WorldSkills Kazan 2019, global championship of vocational skills and trades, in a ceremony at Kazan Arena.
"Russia hosts a global-level skills competition for the first time, and we are very proud of that. The WorldSkills Competition has become far more than just a youth contest".
"In fact, it has grown into a Competition for the Future, forming a diverse multi-cultural and international platform where participants can work, compete, and communicate; for the Future, where inspiration, discovery, friendship, and new achievements find place," Medvedev said.
More than 1,300 competitors from over 60 countries and regions, including a 48-member Indian team, are participating in the championship.
Medvedev wished all the competitors success.
WorldSkills Kazan 2019 is expected to be the largest WorldSkills Competition ever held, and takes place during four days at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre.
"Just to be here, means that these young men and women are already champions in their own right. But as they pick up their tools and focus their brains for the white heat of excellence, they also bring us a message of unity.
"We have great expectations for the next days, our anticipation heightened by this marvellous opening ceremony and the sight of all those young people carrying the flags of so many nations, as well as carrying the hopes of their generation," WorldSkills President Simon Bartley said.
The 45th WorldSkills Competition is being held for the first time in Russia.
The event will measure and assess excellence of skilled professionals, and encourage thousands of young people to consider vocational education as an alternative or additional path to academic qualifications.
"Russia's efforts for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 go beyond financing and infrastructure. It is especially important for me that the Russian Federation remains an innovator for this, our first 'home' competition, by enriching WorldSkills Kazan 2019 with our ideas.
"Through our initiatives, schoolchildren will take part alongside the national teams through WorldSkills Juniors - the first time this age group has entered the international competition. Russia has also introduced competitions for key skills in the digital economy with future skills," said Tatiana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Chairperson of the Organising Committee.
An anticipated 2,50,000 visitors from Russia, Tatarstan, and around the world are expected to visit WorldSkills Kazan 2019 and related events.
Today we are opening a long-awaited event. The WorldSkills Competition has already touched the lives of people in Russia and Tatarstan by promoting the image of vocational skills, and such specialists are in high demand in the labour market.
"We wish all participants of the Competition good luck and hope they will have the best memories of these days in Kazan. And we invite residents and guests of the city to come to Kazan Expo and support the competitors," said Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov.
The event has financial support of more than 130 sponsors, including Overall Event Presenter, Samsung and National Strategic Partner Rosatom.
This competition and WorldSkills are also at the heart of the reforms of the skills training system across all 85 regions of Russia, the organisers said.
"The very decision to host the WorldSkills Competition is a recognition of the scale of the movement in our country. Today, all 85 regions of Russia are involved in the preparation of WorldSkills Kazan 2019 and implementing WorldSkills standards in the national vocational education system.
"By the end of 2018, there were more than 500 thousand people actively taking part in the WorldSkills Russia activities and initiatives," said Robert Urazov, Director General for WorldSkills Russia.
WorldSkills Conference 2019 will be held alongside skills competitions. During the Conference international government representatives, experts and thought-leaders will explore and debate an array of topics pivotal to the future of skills, including how to maximize their economic and social impact....