Every other year, hundreds of Sweden’s most skilled young vocational professionals face off against each other and display their skills in about 50 different fields at a major multi-profession competition and showcasing event. Schools and members of the public can attend the jam-packed, three-day event for free to observe the participants and ask them questions and to try out different professions themselves. Winners of the competition get the opportunity to join the Swedish National Skills team and represent Sweden at EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions (skills championships at the European and global level, respectively).
Purpose and goals
The idea behind the Swedish National Skills Competition (Yrkes-SM) is to raise the status and strengthen the appeal of vocational professions and increase interest in vocational education and training. The event raises awareness of the latter among pupils, parents and teachers, introducing them to the career paths vocational education and training can lead to.
The Swedish National Skills Competition also allows vocational boards, actors in the field, sponsors and others to work together on young people’s education, career opportunities and the needs of the market.
Learning by doing
Attending the Swedish National Skills Competition can be a highly instructive process. When combined with teacher mentoring and preparatory material such as videos, career exploration and follow-up sessions, a class visit can allow students to learn about the labour market and study and career choices on a much broader level. Students get to work with the theme before, during and after their visit.