In the Republic of Croatia, the Agency for VET and Adult Education organises competitions and fairs of student works at the national level every year, the aim of which is to promote vocational education and training, raise its reputation and strengthen its attractiveness.
The main tasks of the competitions are the presentation of students’ knowledge, skills and abilities, encouraging and motivating students to present their own knowledge, skills and abilities, presentation of occupations, vocational guidance and presentation of practical skills acquired by students during education to employers.
The VET System Development Programme 2016-2020, within its Priority 3. Promoting Excellence, Attractiveness and Inclusiveness of VET, under the Goal 3.1. Strengthening excellence and attractiveness of VET, introduces the Measure 3.1. Promoting VET students skills, modernization and promoting of VET and skills, which envisages for the introduction of a new model of competition.
Accordingly, through the ESF project Promotion of Student Competences and VET Through Skills Competitions the overall concept of new and improved competitions and fairs has been developed.
Vocational competitions are recognized at national, European and global levels as an important mechanism for promoting the excellence and attractiveness of vocational education.
The new model of national competitions and fairs of students from vocational schools is implemented under the name National Competition of Vocational School Students –WorldSkills Croatia, and in accordance with modern trends, the so-called “skills movement” which, under this name, promotes vocational education, career development, the importance of skills, international cooperation and youth competitions. This ensures the visibility of Croatian competitions for vocational school students at the international level.
In 2019, for the first time, according to the new model, the National Competition of Vocational School Students – WorldSkills Croatia 2019 was held at the Zagreb Fair. It was the largest professional competition in this part of Europe, representing the culmination of the reform of professional competitions in the Republic of Croatia. Around 300 best students of vocational schools competed in more than 40 vocational disciplines in which they presented professional competencies and demonstrated the skills needed to successfully perform tasks specific to a particular vocational profession. In an area of 15,000 m2 during the two days of the competition with a strong media campaign and monitoring, the competition was visited by more than 12,000 visitors, including students and teachers from more than 100 primary and secondary schools from all over Croatia.
You can see photos from the WorldSkills Croatia 2019 competition on the following link: photo gallery.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS – One of the main purposes of the new competition model is to encourage students in the final grades of primary schools to enroll in vocational schools. The competition is accompanied by numerous activities such as “Test your skill”, where students can test their skills through simple practical tasks and participate in various workshops, listen to information about continuing education and the specifics of many different occupations and new modern technologies.
TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS OF VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS – For principals and teachers of vocational schools, participation in the new competition model is an opportunity for networking, exchange of experiences, professional development, networking with companies and other stakeholders.
EMPLOYERS/PARTNERS – Since many companies and economic entities have supported the new way of competition and many have expressed a desire to connect and cooperate with vocational schools and find employees after the competition, this attractive approach to organizing the competition is proof that the new model fulfills its purpose – promotion and raising the visibility of vocational education.
More information can be found via the following link: www.worldskillscroatia.hr