With the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the situation of travel restrictions in Europe, the international competition for young professionals EuroSkills 2020 has been postponed indefinitely. The competition was planned to take place in Graz, Austria, in January 2021, and this year the Latvian team planned to participate in the competition in 16 professions.
“We have actively invested a lot of work in the preparation process - for several months teachers, experts, students and all involved parties have worked on preparation for EuroSkills 2020 to demonstrate the competitiveness of Latvian vocational education in the competition with representatives of 30 countries. At the same time, we appreciate that the organizers of the competition have made this difficult but responsible decision, taking care of the safety of the contestants and representatives. Together with the organizers of the competition and representatives of other member states, we are hoping for the competition to happen in 2022,” says Dita Traidās, Director of the State Education Development Agency (VIAA).
About 600 participants from 30 European countries applied for the EuroSkills 2020 competition. At European level in January 2021, young professionals would have demonstrated their skills in 45 skills competitions. The competition was designed to test the performance of competitors in six professional categories: construction and building, manufacturing and mechanical engineering, information and communication technologies, creative arts and fashion, services, as well as transportation and logistics.
EuroSkills is an international professional skills competition for young people, which has been taking place in a European country every two years since 2008, and where participants demonstrate their professional skills in competition with young people from other countries. In January 2021, the EuroSkills competition would have taken place for the seventh time, while the Latvian team would have participated in the EuroSkills competitions for the sixth time. By participating in EuroSkills competitions, the members of the Latvian team have won gold medals in fashion technologies, silver, bronze and medals of excellence in merchandising and window dressing, cabinet making and heavy truck maintenance. In the previous competition EuroSkills 2018, which took place in Hungary, the Latvian team won 7th place from 28 countries, as well as won gold and Best of Nations medals in fashion technology, silver medal in window dressing, as well as three excellence medals in heavy truck maintenance, web development and information and communication technologies.
Latvia's participation in the EuroSkills 2020 competition is ensured by the VIAA by implementing the project “Career Support in General and Vocational Education Institutions”, which is financed by the European Social Fund and the Latvian state.