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London Wins Bid for Skills ‘Olympics’


London has beaten Sweden and Australia to host the 2011 WorldSkills games, billed as an Olympic-type event for showcasing vocational skills.

Around 40 nations will compete in the £22m event. The UK government is providing £11m funding.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson called it "wonderful news" as it would raise the profile of skills training.

He said: "We now have a unique chance, with the government, business and the education sector working closely together, to raise the status of skills and vocational education dramatically and inspire a new generation of youngsters to take up good careers in all sectors of the economy."

Chris Humphries, Chairman of UK Skills, the organisation which led the UK bid, said: "For too long the vocational route has been seen as inferior to academic studies, but succeeding in the skills sector takes just as much dedication, determination and hard work."

Seven hundred young people will compete over three days in 40 different skills.

WorldSkills, held every two years, aims to “raise the profile and status of vocational skills, technicians and specialist crafts to a wider audience".

It will take place in London from 6 to 9 October 2011.


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