Lara Tynnauer, a specialist in beauty and cosmetics from Austria, bought the last plane ticket to Poland in order to participate in this year’s competition EuroSkills 2023 in Gdańsk. After a member of the Austrian team had to cancel her participation, Lara was pleased to replace her in the grand competitions since, as she herself says, for her it is a great honour to represent her country.
Even though she had only four weeks to get ready, Lara was not discouraged at all. Quite the opposite – the 22-year-old representative member moved at full steam towards the goal and used each and every minute to train in order to achieve the best possible result. “This profession has always fascinated me. As a beautician, I have the perfect balance between creativity, professional knowledge and the rewarding dimension yielded by everyday interaction with other people” – says Lara.
Image source: wko.at
Although she was a substitution, Lara’s hard work, dedication and motivation put her at the top of the podium at this year’s EuroSkills. With a sensational victory, she won the golden medal in her category ‘Beauty Therapy’ and, thus, she contributed to the seven golden medals won by Austria. In fact, this country may be proud of staggering 18 medals which is the best score from amongst all 32 participating countries.
Image source: www.swiss-skills.ch
The Swiss superior educational system yields superior results
Another country that achieved an incredible success this year is Switzerland. Competing in 16 categories, the Swiss won 15 medals, of which an outstanding number of 12 were golden ones. It means that impressive 94% of the Swiss delegation stood on the podium and ensured an incredible track record. These results proved once again how extraordinary the Swiss vocational education system is as compared to the other countries.
Image source: www.swiss-skills.ch
The technical delegate Martin Erlacher is ecstatic: “This result achieved by the entire representation team has exceeded our expectations. We wouldn’t expect so many golden medals even in our wildest dreams.”. Erlacher shared that during the preparations, the participants, the experts, the team leaders and the entire delegation created an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement. According to him, the participants invested about 1000 hours in preparations and training before the grand competition, which was certainly supported by the expert team and the companies.
Practice based training – the foundation of successful professional staff
At EuroSkills there is a special award that is presented to the competitor with the highest number of points won. Tamás and Zsolt from Hungary became champions in the team category IT System Operator. Afterwards, they were crowned with the title Best in Europe because they won 799 points out of possible 800. Hungary may also be proud of an overall good result at the European championship since it won five golden, one silver and four bronze medals.
Image source: hungary.postsen.com
The Hungarian Secretary of State, Hankó Balázs, thinks that the top results achieved by their team may be credited to the 2016 reforms by means of which the Hungarian vocational education was renewed and now it meets the needs on the labour market. “By means of cooperation with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the VET experts, a practice-based training programme was implemented. Owing to this dual preparation, in addition to theoretical knowledge, young professionals can also spend a significant amount of time training at the private companies and acquiring specific practical experience” – he says.
Hankó even takes it up a notch by announcing the ambitious plans of Hungary to be the host of the WorldSkills Championship in a few years. Hungary already hosted EuroSkills in 2018.
“United by Skills”
Under the slogan United by Skills, all participating countries demonstrated that skills create opportunities for connecting societies and a foundation for an economic progress. Starting from Lara, who was there in the capacity of a substitute, to each of the other 600 participants who made their nations proud, they were all a part of the story about the excellence of vocational education and training.
Image source: https://euroskills2023.org/
National and international competitions of this type not only increase the interest in vocational skills, but also improve the reputation and the quality of vocational education. These young professionals are true ambassadors of their professions, but also of their countries.