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WorldSkills 2017 – now it’s full speed ahead

Debrunner Acifer WorldSkills Competitions 2017 SwissSkills Team

The 44th WorldSkills, the first vocational world championships in the Arab world, are off to a dazzling start. At an opening ceremony featuring lyrical modern choreography, Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills International, greeted some 10,000 guests at the Abu Dhabi arena and welcomed around 1,300 competitors to the «four toughest days of your life till now».

During those four days, Manuel Allenspach, who develops IT software solutions for business, has to program a software application for a fictitious airline: «I had enough time to complete the tasks and always finished on time.» That doesn’t go without saying, because some of the challenges are designed to be almost impossible to tackle in the given time. Bricklayer Kevin Hofer is also confident about his achievements thus far: «The day was quite exhausting, but I’m satisfied with the results.»

Debrunner Acifer WorldSkills Competitions 2017 SwissSkills Team

Irina Tuor, a health-care specialist, is nervous before her first heat: «But once I get started, I’ll be fine.» The support all round her will surely help: «We all started together this morning with our team shout – that gives us strength.»

Cabinetmaker Sven Bürki is not as nervous here as he was at the Swiss championships: «Here I already knew the challenge and was able to discuss the modifications with my expert, Tobias Hugentobler.»

For fashion designer Flurina Rüesch, it’s going to be a long day, because sometimes she has to sit by and wait until everything is ready. «Then we just have to focus on ourselves and not let it bother us.»

Debrunner Acifer WorldSkills Competitions 2017 SwissSkills Team

Benjamin Räber, a landscape gardener, seems very confident after his first day, even though he and his team partner Nils Bucher were not allowed to see the plans for their challenge until yesterday, and then only briefly. But that doesn’t appear to be a problem for them: «We’ll just go full speed ahead, do our best, use all our skills – and then we’ll see.»