On March 16 the first European Skills Plus competitions will be organized for young people with labor disabilities in The Netherlands at Skills The Finals, RAI Amsterdam. In four competitions 13 teams from six countries will decide who will be the best European skills team 2017. These competitions shows that also people with a labor disability may and can be challenged and judged on their professional talents. The organization of this special European Championship is in the hands of WorldSkills Netherlands and the Pro Work Foundation, supported for that by Erasmus+ which is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

Inclusive competitions

Skills Plus competitions are designed for young people with a labor disability. The test projects were developed at the competition level of the successfully organized Skills Talents competition, the Dutch pre-vocational skills competitions. Participating teams consist of both people with physical as mental disability. Talents of different levels and types of restrictions form a team together and compete in their own professional discipline with other teams. Experts from vocational education and industry assess the individual team results and the competition performance. The so called test projects the team have to work upon during the competition reflect the current professional situation in their trade.

At the first European Skills Plus competitions 13 teams from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands compete with each other in four professional disciplines and at the end of the day it will be clear which team has become the best skilled plus team in Europe in Landscape Gardening, Hospitality, IT and Technology. “The team work improved in the national competitions. We also get to know each other better outside work. Now on to win the European Championship!”, said one of the participants of the Dutch team for Hospitality and Catering.

Skills The Finals

WorldSkills Netherlands at the same time organizes Skills The Finals. These are the Dutch National Skills Competitions, 16-18 March 2017. In 46 (pre)vocational finals in RAI Amsterdam 660 (pre)vocational students compete to become the best skilled young professional or the best skilled team.

Pro Work

The Pro Work Foundation promotes (inter)national career development of persons with a (significant) disabilities in the labor market as skilled workers and for other target groups. Included are sectors such as ICT, environment, economy, health care and technology. Topics such as sustainability, social employment, social inclusion, entrepreneurship, talent of youth unemployment and diversity management are paramount. For this the Pro Work foundation works together with similar organisations from the participating countries who were responsible for the preparation of their Skills Plus teams.

WorldSkills Netherlands

Besides Skills Plus competitions WorldSkills Netherlands organizes competitions such as Skills Juniors for 7th and 8th grade of primary school, Skills Talents for pre-vocational students, Skills Heroes for vocational students. All in cooperation with partners from education and business. WorldSkills Netherlands is also responsible for Team Netherlands to EuroSkills and WorldSkills; the European- and World competitions for young professionals.


Note for editors

Information on the program and the European Skills Plus competitions can be found at www.skillsplus.eu

Information on Pro Work visit www.pro-work.nl

About WorldSkills Netherlands and Skills The Finals visit www.wordskillsnetherlands.nl and www.skillsthefinals.nl

Information on Erasmus + program, visit www.erasmusplus.nl

For more information about the European Skills Plus Competitions or interview requests please contact:

WorldSkills Netherlands: Twan Stemkens, Policy Advisor strategy and communication,
+31 651104566, stemkens@worldskillsnetherlands.nl, or Richard Pronk, communications coordinator, +31 652333682, pronk@worldskillsnetherlands.nl

Pro Work: Theo Grefkens, Director Pro Work +31 653497522, tgrefkens@pro-work.nl

Information about the participating national teams and organizations:

The Netherlands, INADVIES, Inez Kool, 0031(0)647462235, inezkool1970@gmail.com
The Netherlands, INADVIES,  Nicole Oolman, 0031(0)648143134, nicole.oolman@home.nl
Bulgaria, Adam Smith College of Management-BG,  Andrey Stoycheff, 00359 888 680408, andy@adamsmith.bg|
Czech Republic, Euroface Consulting,Katarína Francková, 00420 732288577, franckova@euro-face.cz
Slovenia, LUV, Mihaela Orozel, 00386(0)41258759,mihaela.orozel@luvelenje.si
Germany, SALO, Wouter Groet, 0049(0)160 97825843, woutergroet@salo-ag.de
Italy, ANFE, Elisabetta Briguglio, 0039 334 6766355, ebriguglio@anfe.it