For the first time since 2001, Switzerland failed to place in the top three countries overall at the World Skills Championships, held August 11-16 in São Paulo, Brazil. But with 13 medals in 38 categories they were clearly the best European team.
The competition, which takes place every two years, is the biggest vocational education and skills event in the world. Close to 1,200 participants from 58 countries and regions took part in the 2015 event.
Lars Tönz of canton Thurgau won Switzerland’s only gold medal, in the category IT Software Solutions for Business. Given a business case scenario, Tönz and his competitors had to use problem-solving and analytical skills to identify the issues facing the business, then create a software solution using either Java or Microsoft.NET. to meet the user’s requirements.
The 40-member Swiss team also earned seven silver medals, five bronze medals and 22 diplomas at the 43rd World Skills competition. Overall, the team was happy with its performance.
“We have to realise that competition at the international level has increased – and we’ll have to take that into account in the future,” stated Christine Davatz, head of the Swiss delegation, in a press release.
The next championship will take place in 2017 in Abu Dhabi.