The Minister of Education and Science congratulates the winners of EuroSkills 2016

Today, on the 21st December, Kārlis Šadurskis, the Minister of Education and Science, congratulated the Latvian national team of the skills competition of young professionals EuroSkills 2016. 12 young professionals represented Latvia at the competition and received two silver medals, three bronze medals and three medals of excellence.

"Your success is an attestation that we are heading into the right direction. I encourage you not to lose the connection with your schools because each school which has contributed to you reaching this high level has invested in you and you are the only ones who can return this investment to your schools. This link is very important," Kārlis Šadurskis said to the winners of the competition. "Our schools would never be as good as they are, so excellent vocational education establishments if we did not have the good cooperation with the industry, with the companies working in the relevant industries, because the feedback and advice is very important there, we have to know what is needed by our society, which are the professions and the skills required by the society and the market."

Very good performance was demonstrated by Ieva Blūma (Riga Vocational Secondary School of Style and Fashion) and Kate Stroža (Daugavpils Secondary School of Design and Arts), who participated as a team in the discipline of fashion technology and received silver medals and the nomination Best of the Nation. Bronze medals were received by the window dressing expert Linda Vilka (Liepāja Secondary School of Music, Art and Design), the cabinet maker Reinis Gusts (Cēsis Vocational Secondary School) and the agriculture machinery mechanic Krišjānis Jurāns (Priekuļi Technical College). Medals for excellence were received by the cook Kristiāna Šteinfelde (Kandava Agriculture Technical College ), the graphic designer Anete Aizbalte (Daugavpils Secondary School of Design and Arts), the electrician Andis Lācis (PIKC “Riga Technical College”) and the web designer Igors Novickis (PIKC “Riga Technical College)”.

The Latvian team was ranked in the high and honourable eighth place in the competition of 28 countries based on the mean point score by receiving 507 points which is above the level of excellence. The participation of the Latvian team in the competition EuroSkills has not only provided an opportunity for the young professionals to achieve personal success, but also to present the quality of the vocational education of their country, to compare professional competences, to promote competitiveness and to contribute to the popularity and attractiveness of the vocational education.

Photos from the official ceremony at VIAA Flickr account.

During several months the VIAA organised trainings and master classes by involving recognised industry professionals. The young professionals who presented best professional skills in the competition with several candidates received the opportunity to represent their country on the international scale. The EuroSkills 2016 competition took place in Gotheburg, Sweden, from the 30th November to the 4th December. This is an international professional skills competition of young professionals that is referred to also as the "Skills Olympics". Representatives from 28 countries representing 35 professions from all over Europe and 7 guest countries, namely, Canada, India, China, Japan, etc. participated in the competition. Totally 500 students and graduates from vocational education establishments participated in the competition.

Participation in EuroSkills 2016 takes place within the framework of the Operational Program of the European Union Funds "Growth and Employment" Specific Aid Objective 8.3.5 "Improvement of approach to the career support to students at general and vocational education establishments" project "Career support at general and vocational education establishments".