The WordSkills competition, which takes places this year in Leipzig, Germany in July owes its origins to two Spaniards in the late 1940s who had a vision of an international competition that pitted the best apprentices from around Europe against other.
In 1946 two Spaniards José Antonio Elola Olaso and Francisco Albert-Vidal dreamed of an international skills competition, a professional-quality championship with participants from all over the world. The first Spanish championships for apprentices were a roaring success in 1947.
n 1950, neighbouring Portugal joined in, and since 1953 more took up the challenge. Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland all entered teams for the International Vocational Training Contest.
In 1999 the event became known as WorldSkills. Initially held annually, the competitions have been held every other year since 1973.
Today, up to 65 countries and regions take part in this mega-event with most countries hosting their own Skills competitions as well.
Germany has hosted WorldSkills twice before: in Duisburg in 1961 and in Munich in 1973.