SINGAPORE - For the first time in its history, the international WorldSkills competition this year will involve participants fanning out to 15 host countries and regions.
The competition will see more than 1,000 competitors from 56 member countries taking part in over 60 skill areas over a 12-week period from September.
This year’s competition, initially scheduled to be held in Shanghai, was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. The event was renamed WorldSkills 2022 Special Edition so the hosting could be shared among 15 countries.
The competition aims to get young participants to challenge themselves and reach new heights, while ultimately helping them shift their passion into a professional career.
A 29-member team from Singapore, comprising representatives from the five polytechnics, Institute of Technical Education, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University, will compete in skill areas such as cyber security, fashion technology and cloud computing.
Speaking at a send-off ceremony for the participants at Republic Polytechnic on Tuesday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing encouraged them to maintain a positive mindset so they could do their best.
He said: "Regardless of how well you do in the competition, remember that what matters is not surpassing others. Surpassing yourself throughout life is more important than surpassing someone else in one competition.
"You may win in a competition, or you may not do as well as you had expected. But what matters is the spirit to keep aspiring to perform better than what you achieved yesterday, the day before, the week before, or the month before.
"This is the spirit of lifelong learning - consistently surpassing yourself... So continue to keep up this good spirit of trying to surpass yourself, and own the skills in the area that you have chosen."
Mr Chan also reminded the participants to have fun and to make everyone back home proud.
The last competition - the 45th edition - was held in Kazan, Russia, in 2019. Singapore won a record 22 medals, including two gold, one silver and two bronze. The rest were awarded for excellence.
Former ITE College East student Lim Hui Fang, 22, will be travelling to Finland to compete in the beauty therapy skills area.
Ms Lim, who is now working at beauty company Kskin, was given time off to pursue her passion.
Not only had she trained in vain for competition over the past two years, she also had to make several adjustments to her training due to the pandemic.
For example, she could no longer practise beauty procedures on fellow classmates or models, and had to resort to using mannequins. "This was tough as human skin is different... and I had to change my techniques and products over a short period," she said.
Now that she is familiar with her new routines, Ms Lim is looking forward to getting more exposure to different approaches in the field of beauty therapy in Finland so she can further improve her craft.