x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Youths vie for future jobs in Emirates Skills contest

Besides winning prizes, competitors will also be vying for a chance to get future employment from one of the 31 sponsors of the Emirates Skills National Competition.

ABU DHABI // Hundreds of young Emiratis will next week compete in the biggest Emirates Skills National Competition yet.

The entrants, aged between 16 and 20, will do battle in categories such as robotics, welding and network cabling for prizes of up to Dh12,000 and the chance to go to the WorldSkills final, which is held every two years.

The national competition,held annually since 2006, is designed to promote excellence in workmanship.

This year, four new sections have been added: fashion technology, electronics, cyber-security and programming.

The 425 finalists were selected from 900 entrants.

Ali Al Marzooqi, president of Emirates Skills, said the standard of entries this year had been higher than previous years.

As well as prizes, the competitors will have their eyes on their future.

Mr Al Marzooqi said the winners would probably be hired by one of the 31 sponsors, which include Mubadala, Masdar and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.

All those who compete will be added to a database for potential employers.

Fahar Al Daboos, head of the competition, said the event had been such a success that schools had started tailoring their curriculums to give their pupils the best chance of winning.

"Curriculums focus on what we are doing," Mr Al Daboos said. "They will even change their curriculum to make it more advanced to be able to compete."

This year's winners will compete in the 2015 WorldSkills competition in Brazil.

The competition will run at Adnec next week from Tuesday to Thursday.

Last year's national winners will compete in Germany this year and some will sit on the juries at this year's national competition. Abu Dhabi is bidding to host the 2017 WorldSkills competition.