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Swiss workers compete in “Skill Olympics”

Skilled Swiss workers are participating in this year's WorldSkills Competition in Seoul. WorldSkills

Young workers from Switzerland are demonstrating the skills of their trades in a world competition in Seoul, South Korea.

The 36th WorldSkills Competition, which runs through September 19, brings together young people from all over the world who compete in many categories to establish world-class standards in trades and professions.

Known informally as the “Skill Olympics,” the contest has been held every two years for more than half a century, since its founding in Spain in 1950.

Spokesmen said 37 competitors and 35 experts from Switzerland, selected from among their peers, are representing the country in South Korea. The team brought seven tons of tools to the competition.

They are among 600 young people representing 39 professions and 35 countries from every continent, who are competing in South Korea. More than 500 international experts and some 1,000 observers from throughout the world have also gathered at the competition.

Spokesmen said 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the competitive events.

“Skill Olympics” in St Gallen

Switzerland will host the competition for a second time in 2003. Only four years ago the “Skill Olympics” were held in St Gallen, where the Swiss team achieved six gold medals, in professions such as bricklaying, turning and women’s dressmaking.

The next competition will also be held in St Gallen.

The WorldSkills’ mission is to challenge young people, their teachers and trainers to achieve world-class standards of competence in commerce, services and industry and to promote the status of vocational training.

Further competitions of the World Skills organisation will be staged in Finland in 2005 and in Japan in 2007.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR