Networking, Exchange and Export – The Many Facets of Competitions

HannuImmonen1.jpgExchange students to Singapore, competitions in China and education export to Brazil. This is what occurs when the growth in skills and competitiveness is recorded in the strategy of a school.

Competition activities are a tool that the Turku Vocational Institute uses to promote the top expertise recorded in the strategy. In practice, the educational institution encourages students from different fields to compete or otherwise take part in competitions.

The power of networking

Management also participates in competitions. Service Area Director Hannu Immonen is Finland’s technical delegate in the WorldSkills competition.

"It gives us contacts with every one of the 76 other countries that participate in the competition. Networks are useful, for example, when we seek out student and teacher exchanges and work placements for students", says Immonen.

Due to the WorldSkills contacts, the Turku Vocational Institute is sending hospitality, restaurant and tourism students to Singapore for student exchanges and it has helped start competition activities in China.

As a technical delegate, Immonen has supported Häme University of Applied Sciences in education export to Brazil. In his technical delegate role, Immonen conveys information also to other education organizers. Teachers also network domestically and internationally through competitions.

"They are able to see what type of vocational skills and pedagogic skills exist in other countries, improve their skills and update their knowledge. Networking is extremely important in today’s world."

As competitions are policies of the educational institution and they have allocated budgets, participating teachers can commit themselves to support them. In addition, the Turku Vocational Institute has an assigned coordinator for competitions. The coordinator is a teacher with solid competitive experience and has what is needed to support others in competitions.