The WorldSkills competitions could soon expand to 100 countries, opening them up to 80 per cent of the world's population, the president of the body behind the programme has told TES.
Speaking at the EuroSkills competition in Gothenburg, Sweden, this morning, Simon Bartley (pictured), president of WorldSkills International, said that he wanted to see “about 80 per cent of the world population covered”, and he hoped that nations such as Ukraine, Pakistan and Nigeria would soon be joining the programme of competitions.
“We are already at about 73 or 74 per cent [of the world's populaiton]," he told TES. "If Pakistan and Nigeria join, that will push us very close to 80. I think you get to 80 per cent basically with 100 countries. I think a natural size for WorldSkills will be around 100.”
Membership of the organisation has risen from 59 countries five years ago to the current total of 76 members. The application of Ukraine is at a very advanced stage, according to WorldSkills International, and is now subject to approval by the board. Romania joined earlier this year.
'A depository of intelligence'
Mr Bartley said there were a number of countries that he hoped would become members. “In no particular order, Nigeria, because it is such a big economic power in Africa and is key to unlocking west and possibly sub-Saharan Africa. Pakistan is important because of its population and GDP. I think there are probably four [more nations] in Europe we are really interested in," he explained.
He added that there are a number of benefits to member nations, including access to WorldSkills' research, education and skills standards. WorldSkills is increasingly being viewed as “a depository of intelligence on what defines excellence in skills”, said Mr Bartley.