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WSI president: There are no barriers to lifelong learning today

Society 23.05.2016 | 13:01
Simon Bartley. An archive photo
Simon Bartley. An archive photo

MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) – There are no barriers to lifelong learning today, Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills International (WSI), said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“In Belarus, like in many other countries, there is a need to explain to the youth, their parents and even teachers that it is wrong to believe that young people with no university degree cannot succeed in their lives and should not hope to get a well-paid job. Neither it is true that training standards and the quality of education need to be changed. Many people think that after they graduate from school at the age of 15-17 and then from a college or university, they will already become specialists and there be no need for further learning. This is not true. Today there are no barriers to lifelong learning. It is important to get new knowledge all the time,” Simon Bartley said.

“I have been greatly impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the governmental, public and commercial organizations in Belarus. They pay special attention to the workers' skills and the quality of education. I see that the Belarusian head of state is focused on professional training, and this is important for the Belarusian nation, for the whole country in general. It is worth noting that such skills should be practiced from early childhood. Some time ago, people trained as plumbers or hairdressers generally proceeded in their careers till the end of their lives. Now the world is largely volatile, and our professional skills may help us work at big companies or set up our own business and provide for the family. If we manage to convey this idea to all, this will be the greatest achievement of my visit to your country,” Simon Bartley stressed.

WSI is an international organization established in 1946. It promotes vocational education, qualifications and skills and works to attract young people into the production sector. Belarus was the second country in the CIS after Russia to join WorldSkills International. It became member of the organization in 2014. A total of 280 students of vocational schools and young professionals took part in the national WorldSkills competition in Minsk to demonstrate their skills in 33 categories related to the manufacturing industry, construction, services, fashion, IT and transport technology. The winners will make part of the national team to represent Belarus at WorldSkills Competition 2017 to be held in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 19 October 2017.

The Belarusian Education Ministry coordinated the organization of the national contest. The Belarusian Institute for Vocational Education is one of the organizers of the competition and the official representative of the international organization WorldSkills International in Belarus.

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