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British Skills Olympics team ‘going for gold’


Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett will be willing Britain on to another set of Olympic gold medals next year after announcing the UK team for the 'Skills Olympics'.The team have been selected from hundreds of young people up to the age of 22 who have been taking part in skills competitions around the country over the last two years, when the last event was held.

The idea behind the Skills Olympics is to give competing countries the opportunity to show off the results of high quality training in skills development in a variety of occupations and as an opportunity to raise the profile and status of vocational and practical skills. The UK's effort is being organised by UK Skills, who are also responsible for the regional events held up and down the country as part of the selection process.

The 36th WorldSkills Competition in which the British team will be competing is being held in Seoul, South Korea in September next year. The British Team will be up against 31 other countries competing in 21 events including fitting, welding, ladies and mens hairdressing, bricklaying, stonemasonry, painting and decorating and Industrial Electronics. Many of those being put forward have already achieved great success by competing in their national finals at The Skills Show in July this year, which was held as part of the Manpower National Skills Festival 2000 and is organised as part of The Prince's Trust scheme.

The competition is being held up by David Blunkett as a way to promote skills training to overcome the skills shortages often highlighted: "It is an excellent and effective way to spotlight skills and an opportunity to show everyone how crucial it is to develop and maintain world-class skills. And I am pleased this is going to be a regular event."


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