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Brazil invests in vocational education development by hosting the greatest vocational education and skills excellence Competition in the world

18 June 2015

While analysing the current Brazilian reality, you will notice an increase in companies searching for specialized professionals trained to work in various industry sectors. Qualified professionals tend to stand out in the labour market even more as they provide greater benefits to companies and the overall society.

In this sense, vocational education offers various opportunities and possibilities for young Brazilian professionals, and plays an important role in developing and promoting communities among them. As a result, skilled and specialized professionals provide significant improvements to the whole country, in regards to employability, competitiveness, productivity and sustainable resource use and development. According to research from the National Service of Industrial Training (SENAI),professionals that complete technical courses have greater chances of getting a job immediately after their first year of training and they earn salaries that are up to 25% higher after one year of professional experience. Among the three economic sectors in the country, industry pays the highest salaries to employees.

Even in this positive scenario, vocational education rates in Brazil are very low: the same survey demonstrated that only 8% of the students attend technical training courses, while in developed countries this rate is over 60%. Due to this and other reasons, for over 70 years SENAI, one of the five greatest professional educational institutions in the world and the greatest in Latin America, has worked to enhance the quality of vocational education in Brazil according to national industrial needs, by investing in professional vocational training and competitiveness. Every year, SENAI offers more than 150,000 opportunities for technical courses throughout the country.

Considering the possible legacy for educational and vocational development in Brazil, SENAI partnered with WorldSkills International- a global organization that promotes vocational, technological, and service-oriented education and training, challenging youth around the world to be the best in whichever career path they choose– to host the WorldSkills Competition in Latin America for the first time.

From 11-16 August 2015, Brazil will host the 43rd WorldSkills Competition, the greatest vocational education and skills excellence Competition in the world, held every two years, at Anhembi Park in the city of São Paulo. Over 1,200 registered Competitors from more than 60 countries and regions are expected to participate in WorldSkills São Paulo 2015. They will compete in 50 different skills related to trades, technologies, and service-oriented careers. Competitors demonstrate individual and collective technical skills to perform specific tasks for each of the professional skills, simulating real work challenges that must be completed according to international industry standards.

WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 Competitorsrepresent the best students selected through national and regional competitions held previously in their countries and regions. In Brazil, the national competition is called Olimpíada do Conhecimento (Knowledge Olympics) held by SENAI.

Besides encouraging student dedication, these Competitions help to assess the quality of vocational education offered by the countries and their educational entities, as well as engaging the labour market and industry to be part of training the skilled labour market. Performance in the Competition gathers a set of indicators that identify technological trends and professional profile changes, which help schools keep their course syllabus updated.

Since 1983, SENAI has been representing Brazil at the WorldSkills Competition: Brazilian Competitors have participated in 16 Competitions, captured 68 medals and 111 Medallions for Excellence. Brazil has improved their performance at every Competition. This year, during the Competition week, most of the main vocational education leaders in the world will focus their attention towards Brazil, as a showcase for skills excellence. Consequently, the fact that the country is hosting such a great event, provides value to the Brazilian society and educational system, as has happened in many other countries that registered significant improvements in regards to vocational education after hosting the Competition.

"We could look at Finland for example, as after they hosted the WorldSkills Competition in 2005, there was a significant increase in the amount of young professionals enrolling in vocational education courses, from 36% to 44% from 2002-2008. Today this has reached 60%, and Finland has become a world leader in several industry sectors, with extremely skilled professionals," says Frederico Lamego, WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 CEO. "This is what we hope will happen as we host this Competition in Brazil: place vocational education as a main focus for the country's education agenda. We know we have what it takes to do so."

WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 will occupy the entire Anhembi Park, including the Exhibition Pavilion, Sambadrome and Convention Palace, a total 213,000 m2. This will be the first time in Anhembi´s history, that a single event occupies all three areas at the same time. Approximately 200,000 visitors are expected, including 120,000 students from SENAI and SESI, public and private schools and technical education institutions, which will visit the Competition through pre-programmed itineraries during this period.

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Brazil press contacts
Karina Brandford: +55(11) 7850-8269 / ID. 80*848
Marina Figueira: +55(11) 7741-0991 / ID. 80*180636
Lívia Nolla: +55(11) 7850-7232 / ID. 80*1148
Gustavo Silva: +55(11) 7850-8948 / ID. 80*1065

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Laura London, Communications Manager, WorldSkills International

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