The 43rd edition of WorldSkills started on August 11th in São Paolo. Delegations from almost 60 nations competed during a week in 50 various fields. Restaurant/hotel service, architecture, electronics or IT are only a few examples of sectors covered by the event. 40 participants had been selected to represent Switzerland. These young men and women had a lot of pressure on their shoulders, expected to live up to the country’s excellent worldwide reputation in terms of training. 2 years ago, in Leipzig, the Swiss Team had secured the second spot in the overall nation ranking, conquered 17 medals and only two candidates had come home without decoration.
With a 4th place behind Brazil, Korea and Chinese Taipei, Switzerland remains the best European country this year. Although the new national team just missed the podium, its performance brought honor to the country. Computer scientist Lars Tönz from canton Thurgau secured a gold medal while 7 silver medals and 5 bronze medals were won by his teammates.
The event offered the perfect opportunity for Switzerland to promote its already praised vocational training system. An increasing number of nations are approaching the Swiss authorities to learn more about such practices. The United States recently signed a joint declaration of intent with Switzerland to collaborate on apprenticeships and some Swiss companies, such as Zurich Insurance, have already started implementing vocational training there.
For more information about education in Switzerland, please refer to chapter 12 of the Handbook for Investors (Education and Research).