WorldSkills Competition

The WorldSkills Competition occurs every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world that truly reflects global industry. The Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from skills competitions in WorldSkills Member countries and regions. They demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study and/or perform in their workplace.

One of the main legacies of the WorldSkills Competitions is to give visibility and importance to professional education, as one of the true tools of socioeconomic transformation.

The Competition also provides leaders in industry, government and education with the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education. New ideas and processes inspire school-aged youth to dedicate themselves to technical and technological careers and towards to a better future.

The History of WorldSkills

The first National Competition took place in Spain in 1947, with around 4,000 apprentices from a dozen mechanical trades participating. In 1950 Portugal joined in, and in 1953 young people from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Morocco and Switzerland took part in it for the first time.Since 1999 the event has been known as WorldSkills. Initially held annually, it has been held every other year since 1973.

The WorldSkills Competition is now the biggest international skills competition in the world. Around 60 member countries send highly trained young people to compete in over 40 different vocational skills, including Beauty Therapy, Web Design, Cabinet Making and CNC Milling. Over 200,000 visitors attend the skills competitions, to watch 1,000+ competitors fight to be crowned chamption in their respective skill.

The scale of the WorldSkills Competition is unrivalled, with over 1,000 competitors taking part. Young people are tested against tough international standards over the four day event, whilst their progress is watched by hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The next WorldSkills International competition will take place in Abu Dhabi in 2017. For more information visit

UK Competitions that align to WorldSkills

The following competitions are being held at WorldSkills UK level and align to WorldSkills International competitions.



WorldSkills International eligibility criteria states that competitors for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, must be born on or after 1 January 1995 for all skills apart from Mechatronics, Engineering Team Challenge and Aeronautical Engineering where competitors must be born on or after 1 January 1992.

Residency and education

For selection to Squad UK at the WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show, competitors must:

  • have been continuously resident in the UK for at least 2 years or hold, or be eligible to hold a UK passport
  • have been educated and trained in a UK education or training establishment
  • hold one or more related UK qualifications

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Skills competitions test who has the ability to be a champion. And for those who’ve got what it takes, career stardom awaits..