Celebrating the best of Europe at EuroSkills Graz 2021 Closing Ceremony
Over 400 Competitors from 19 countries were celebrated at the EuroSkills Graz 2021 Closing Ceremony on Sunday, 26 September for their commitment to skills excellence and determination.
EuroSkills Competitions are challenging events to host during normal circumstances, due to the logistical complexities and extensive equipment needed. However, the postponement of EuroSkills Graz from 2020 to 2021, and ongoing challenges of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and other measures, made planning and preparing for the event all the more difficult.
All the hard work was finally celebrated this weekend, however, as Member Countries, Competitors, Experts, trainers, dignitaries, and supporters, gathered at the Closing Ceremony where the EuroSkills Graz 2021 Official Results were revealed.
Jos de Goey Best in Europe Award
The most coveted award – Best in Europe – is always the final award presented at the Closing Ceremony, when emotions are at the highest point. The presentation of this year’s Award was more emotive than ever due to the challenging past 18 months that the WorldSkills movement has faced.
In recognition of the longstanding commitment to skills development by the founder and first President of WorldSkills Europe, Jos de Goey, who passed away suddenly in 2020, WorldSkills Europe Members made the unanimous decision to rename the Best in Europe Award in his honour.
The inaugural Jos de Goey Best in Europe Award 2021 was presented to Eldar Seidametov and Vladislav Diubanov of Russia by Jos’ wife, Anouschka de Goey-Seur (pictured, below right), together with Josef Herk, President of the Styrian Economic Chamber.
EuroSkills Graz 2021 took place over five days, beginning with an Opening Ceremony on 22 September 2021, followed by three days of skill competitions, and concluding with a Closing Ceremony on Sunday 26 September 2021, where awards including gold, silver, and bronze medals were presented to the highest scoring Competitors.
Among the audience of almost 3,000 people watching the Closing Ceremony to cheer on the national and international competitors were President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Harald Mahrer, President of WorldSkills Europe, Dita Traidas, and Chairman of EuroSkills Graz 2021, Josef Herk.
The future belongs to young professionals
Addressing Competitors in her opening speech, WorldSkills Europe President, Dita Traidas, said: "You had a tough, demanding, and very emotional three days of competition. You are great. We are proud of you. Be sure you will never forget these feelings and emotions you have experienced here. The lessons you learned and invaluable investment in your professional confidence and future careers through competing at EuroSkills Graz 2021 – these days will be ones you will treasure forever."
Josef Herk, President of the Styrian Economic Chamber and Chairman of EuroSkills Graz 2021, said: “There is nothing more powerful than young people who are deeply invested in their skills, trades, professions, and their futures. Today I feel honoured. I feel proud to say thank you to all of you. You have rocked EuroSkills. You are the stars and every one of you stands for the spirit of EuroSkills. This spirit says ‘Don’t give up. Be strong and be a part of it.’ This is the message we wanted to send to young people all over Europe.”
WorldSkills Europe Flag Relay
The EuroSkills Graz 2021 Closing Ceremony concluded with the passing of the flag to the next host nation, Russia, presenting EuroSkills St Petersburg 2023, which is scheduled for 16-20 August 2023.
EuroSkills Graz 2021 was the 7th EuroSkills event and the first to take place in Austria. Hosting the event is not only proof of Austria’s sustained commitment to keep TVET and skills at the top of national and European agendas, but also a matter truly dear to the heart to honour and shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of the most talented young professionals in Europe.
All Official Results from EuroSkills Graz 2021 and previous EuroSkills Competitions, are available at: https://bit.ly/WSEresults.
All official photography from EuroSkills Graz 2021 are available on SmugMug, at: https://worldskillseurope.smugmug.com/EuroSkills-Graz-2021.
Notes for editors
EuroSkills – the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in Europe – was hosted by Austria for the very first time in 2021.
EuroSkills Graz 2021 saw around 400 young skilled professionals from 19 countries across Europe (as well as three guest nations: Albania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates) take part in 38 skill competitions between 23–25 September at The Schwarzl Freizeit Zentrum (SFZ) Centre in Graz, Austria.
Competitors showcased their talents on an international stage as they competed to become the best of the best in their chosen skill.
EuroSkills Graz 2021 welcomed more than 10,000 students, who took part in the popular Try-a-Skill activities on offer at the event. A total of 25,000 visitors registered to attend EuroSkills Graz 2021.
All official photography from EuroSkills Graz 2021 is available at: https://worldskillseurope.smugmug.com/EuroSkills-Graz-2021.
Official Results from EuroSkills Graz 2021, as welll as previous EuroSkills Competitions, are available at: https://worldskillseurope.org/index.php/what-we-do/skills-competitions-euroskills-event/euroskills-results.
A COIVD-19 secure event
The Organising Committee of EuroSkills Graz 2021, together with WorldSkills Europe, devised a catalogue of comprehensive COVID-19 preventative measures, in accordance with regulations set by the Federal Government of Austria, for the protection of everyone who attended the event.
Ninety per cent of all Member Country participants at EuroSkills Graz 2021 were either vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19. In addition, compulsory testing was carried out for the duration of the event, which saw competitors and all 1,200 officials – including Competitors, delegates, experts, coaches and organisation teams – tested every 24 hours.
The thousands of COVID-19 tests conducted during the event did not result in a single positive case.
For more information, please contact:
Tom York at tom.york[at]worldskillseurope.org.