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Our History

Worldskills Ireland History

Founded in 1950, WorldSkills is a global organization that promotes vocational, technological, and service oriented education and training. It promotes skilled careers in 85-member countries on all continents, all working with youth, educators, governments, and industry to help prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future. WorldSkills gives youth the chance to compete, experience, and learn how to become the best in their skill of choice. From the traditional trades to multi-skilled technology careers, social, ICT and service sectors, supported by partners, industries, governments, volunteers, and education and training institutions, WorldSkills is making a direct impact on raising the level of skills throughout the world.

The Government of Ireland joined WorldSkills International then called the International Vocational Training Organisation (IVTO) in 1956 to promote industrial growth through raising national standards and showcasing Irish talent. Team Ireland competed for the first time in 1957 and has competed at every international competition since then winning 63 Gold medals, 53 Silver medals, 80 Bronze Medals and 174 Diplomas/Medallions of Excellence with 732 Team Ireland competitors. In 2016 Ireland Skills adopted the global branding to become WorldSkills Ireland.

Through the Department of Further and Higher Education Research and Innovation WorldSkills Ireland have organised and run the national competitions, each year since 1956 providing thousands of apprentices and the skilled youth of Ireland the chance to compete for the prestigious Silver Medal Award.

Worldskills Ireland Competitions Outcomes

In a recent survey by a worldskills partner, over 95 per cent of competitors believed that taking part in the skill competitions at both national and world level improved their technical and employability skills, while over 80 per cent felt competing had increased their confidence, team working, time management and ability to work under pressure.

It is the preparation for and the experience of competing that enables apprentices, technicians and skilled youth to gain the high level employability skills that will drive the Building and Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering, Social and Personal services, ICT and Transport and Logistics industries and businesses forward.

Our Teams undertake a comprehensive training programme that will prepare them to compete in front of up to 200,000 people on the world stage. The Team are supported by their employer, training provider and a dedicated team of examiners, who are responsible for devising and delivering the technical training programme. The time input during the pre-training and specialist 10-12 week training period by examiners from the IOT sector is done on a voluntary non charge basis.

Our apprentices also need the mind-set of a Gold medallist when they compete internationally. To support them in this, they follow a programme of nutritional and fitness evaluation undertaken by professional instructors during the specialist training.

Working with subject specialists they focus on developing key attributes including problem solving, working under pressure, team work, leadership and reflective learning all of which are essential to delivering a medal winning performance.

Competing internationally not only enables us to showcase the young talent in leading industries, including engineering, construction, transport, social personal and digital, but it also enables Ireland to showcase and benchmark the employability skills of our apprentices with those from the rest of Europe and across the world.

Worldskills Ireland Competitors

Patrick Carpenter – Sheetmetal Competitor 1963 – 1965

Peter Walsh – Carpentry Competitor 1957 – 1962

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