On 18-19 November young people from six regions in Ethiopia are to take part in a competition to promote vocational skills training in the country. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) students aged 25 or under from Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Tigray and Dire Dawa regions will pit their skills in six areas: IT applications, bricklaying, dressmaking, hairdressing, food preparation and furniture making. Bronze, silver and gold medals will be awarded to the winners in each category while all participants will receive tools and materials to be used in their respective fields.

Organised by the Addis Ababa education bureau and the engineering capacity building programme, a German-backed initiative to boost the private sector, the contest will pave the way for an edition involving participants from all regions of Ethiopia next year and for the countrys participation in the biennial WorldSkills competition, otherwise known as the Skills Olympics, in future.

Founded in Europe in the 1950s to encourage vocational skills training among young people, WorldSkills counts member organisations from around 40 countries and organises an international skills competition every two years. For information see www.worldskills.org/site/public/index.php