WorldSkills conference kicks off in Shanghai
The WorldSkills Conference 2021 kicked off on Monday both online and live from Shanghai on the theme of "The Road Ahead: Skills for a Resilient Future."
Chris Humphries, president of WorldSkills International, said in the opening speech that the 46th WorldSkills Competition, which will take place in less than a year in Shanghai, will be a cause for celebration as "we emerge from a trying time and advance from global skills developed."
"Just as skills have the power to lead the world's recovery from COVID-19, so can they better prepare the next generation by focusing on green technology, inclusion, diversity and equity," said Humphries.
He said the five-day conference would bring together many of the finest minds and experts from industry, education, nongovernmental organizations and governments to shape a path forward, and some young people to share their perspectives and draw attention to the urgent issues they would be required to solve.
A series of panel discussions have been arranged in the conference to discuss topics such as skills for green jobs, poverty reduction through skills and the future of apprenticeship systems.
"This is the start of a meaningful conversation that we will continue next year in Shanghai," Humphries said. "To this great community of skills, I know we can find solutions and draw on their power to energize us all with a renewed spirit of optimism and determination to rebuild stronger with enhanced focus and more inclusion."
Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, said that currently preparations for the event are progressing smoothly and steadily and have entered their final stage. Prioritized tasks, such as preparations for the competition, the WorldSkills Conference, the WorldSkills Expo, and the WorldSkills Museum, are well underway.
Gong said, with guidance and support from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China, Shanghai will continue to strengthen communication and collaboration with WorldSkills International, better coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control, and make every effort to host an innovative and influential WorldSkills Competition.
"Looking ahead, we will take the 46th WorldSkills Competition as an opportunity to further improve our modern vocational education system, lifelong vocational training system, multilevel vocational skills competition system, and all-around incentivization and support system for skilled talent to provide stronger support for Shanghai's high-quality economic development," he said.
Zhang Ji'nan, minister of human resources and social security, said in his speech that skills are the core and most basic factor linking technological innovation and production practices, playing an irreplaceable role in economic development and social progress.
"China has been enhancing its development of skilled labor by carrying out intensive campaigns to improve the population's vocational skills, lifting poor rural families out of poverty by developing skills and helping tens of millions of workers find stable jobs and increase their incomes," he said.
He called on the world to highlight the value of skills and cultivate more talent to boost economic and social development.
He asked all attendees to seize opportunities and rise up to challenges to promote innovative skill development, promoting digital and green technologies.
He also said the whole world should work side by side to strengthen international exchanges and promote the common development of skills in all countries.