Whether as a global industrial partner, technical equipment supplier, exhibitor, competitor or promoter of the dual system for vocational training - Festo will be taking part in the 45th World Skills Championships from 22 to 27 August in Kazan, Russia, with a clear objective: to further promote the quality of vocational training through innovations in education.
With almost 1400 participants from 66 countries competing for the title in 56 professional disciplines, the WorldSkills Kazan is the largest world championship of vocational skills to date. As a global industrial partner of WorldSkills International, Festo Didactic has been supporting the organization since 1991 in its efforts to continually improve the quality of technical education. "Competency-based education is the backbone of economic well-being around the world," says Dr Nader Imani, Head of Global Education Projects at Festo Didactic. "The WorldSkills Organization has set itself the goal of changing the world for the better by strengthening professional skills," emphasizes Dr. Nader Imani. "As one of the world's leading providers of technical education and training, we have been supporting them for almost 30 years."
The partnership began back in 1991 with a commitment to a competition discipline: Festo Didactic has been equipping the mechatronics competition with the MPS learning system since the WorldSkills competition in Amsterdam. The modular production system serves as a "sports device" for mechatronics engineers in their world championships. The learning system maps everything that constitutes automated production worldwide: the integration of mechanics, electrical engineering and information technology into mechatronics. "It is important for us to innovate in education so that people acquire the skills that are required in industries and that secure their personal development for their professional future," explains Dr. Nader Imani.
That's why Festo Didactic was instrumental in setting up the new World Cup discipline "Water Technology" and is the main sponsor of this professional competition in Kazan: eleven teams work with the modular EDS® Water Management Learning System, which simulates the core processes of a water and wastewater treatment plant. "Water is already a scarce commodity in many parts of the world and this problem will become even more acute," says Dr. Nader Imani. "Therefore, the need for well-trained water technologists is increasing. They ensure that sufficient drinking water is available and that the waste water is properly purified and reused."
Therefore, the WorldSkills in Kazan also have the so-called "Future Skills Zone": Festo Didactic has also assumed central responsibility for the "Industry 4.0" skill. This competition focuses on the challenges associated with the digitization of industrial production. Various learning systems specially developed by Festo Didactic for qualification in Industry 4.0 are used to solve practical tasks. Overall, Festo Didactic is involved in nine competition disciplines at the WorldSkills in Kazan.
Festo Didactic is also demonstrating its competency as a leading provider of technical education outside the competitions: Festo Didactic will be presenting innovative learning systems at its trade fair booth – both virtual and hands-on. At the WorldSkills Conference, which takes place at the same time, a high-caliber audience will exchange views on the topic of "Skills for Change: Building Blocks for Impact". Enrico Rühle, member of the Festo Didactic Management Board, and Dr. Nader Imani will speak on the subject of sustainability.
In addition to the extensive participation of Festo Didactic as sponsor and partner of WorldSkills, Festo is also a proud competitor this year: Felix Alt and Jan Kintzi, trainees at Festo AG & Co. KG, have been selected as winners in several nationwide WorldSkills selection competitions and will compete for the German team in the mechatronics discipline. "It is a great honor for us to represent Germany in Kazan. We also want to show how good the German training system is and what can be achieved with it," emphasize the two mechatronics trainees. "We are very proud that our trainees have been able to qualify for the WorldSkills," adds Stefan Dietl, Head of Vocational Education at Festo with national and international responsibility. This underlines the fact that Festo is not only the leading driving force in technical education for universities, schools and industry, but also trains its own apprentices at the highest level. Besides Germany, Festo trains its own apprentices also in China, USA, India, Hungary and Switzerland.