ASTANA – The East Kazakhstan region took first place in the fourth WorldSkills Kazakhstan Championship Dec. 3-7 in the capital. The 27 participants who won seven gold medals will participate in the 45th international championship Aug. 22-27 in Kazan, Russia.
Beginning next year, business representatives will collaborate with WorldSkills Kazakhstan to train qualified personnel, said Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.
The championship’s main mission is to enable young workers to gain the practical skills and qualifications in demand in the labour market. Continuous learning and new skills are necessary due to technological upgrades in the workplace. The government cooperates with employers and foreign experts to improve the vocational education programme and increase the competitiveness of domestic staff.
“This event is of special importance because young people participate in it. These college students are our future specialists who will work in various sectors of the country’s economy. Their qualification is growing. The role of vocational education is growing every day,” said Kasipkor Deputy Chairperson of the Board Asima Bimendina.
The venue was divided into 30 areas with the necessary conditions to demonstrate skills. The experts gave participants a competitive task in each competence.
Currently, 86 colleges in the East Kazakhstan region offer courses in 115 specialties and 231 qualifications. Investments in vocational-oriented education from the local budget are increased 10 percent annually, reaching more than 6 billion tenge (US$16 million).
Next year, the region plans to reform the technical and vocational education system, as 40 percent of young people are attending college.
The special technical and vocational education programme for 2019-2021 was also developed. It is designed to create an effective and flexible education system that meets the needs of the economy and new standards of industrial production.
The competence centres will train personnel for the mining and metallurgical industry based on the needs of leading enterprises, Kazminerals and Kazzinc. Plans are underway to allocate 7 billion tenge (US$18 million) to equip colleges.
Secondary profession and technical skills are important in terms of the new industrial revolution, said First Vice Minister for Investment and Development Roman Sklyar.
“Blue-collar jobs are in demand in Kazakhstan… The youth comprehend new trends in a positive light. We now see that new specialists are needed in industry. The industrial and agricultural enterprises and transport and logistics complexes provide more opportunities. This competition provides an incentive for those who have not decided on their future profession,” he added.
The four-day national championship attracted 350 college and university students throughout the regions studying 30 specialties. The event was organised by the Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with Kasipkor.
WorldSkills, a non-profit movement with the mission of promoting blue-collar jobs, is held every two years in different parts of the world. Kazakhstan joined the movement in 2014. Last year, Kazakh students participated in the contest in Abu Dhabi and last fall, the local team took 10th place at EuroSkills in Budapest.