Earlier this month we sponsored the WorldSkills 2011 event at the ExCeL arena in London and were joined by over 200,000 people. Among them were a raft of world and business leaders such as David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Princess Anne, Boris Johnson and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis who were all on hand to support this fantastic occasion. Taking place over four days, World Skills is the world’s largest international skills event that is staged to showcase the work skills of young people from across the globe.
As an official sponsor, we gave visitors an opportunity to gain some practical painting experience by setting up our ‘Have a Go Area’ in the arena. Created to encourage people to interact with paint and learn a little more about the Crown colour palette we were able to reach out to many youngsters and passersby who were curious about the painting and decorating trade. By getting involved in the ‘Have a Go Area’ people were able to try painting using stencils in a competition and were also asked to select their favourite colour from 20 of the top Crown colours.
Many people joined us and the enthusiastic students from the Painting and Decorating Department of Lambeth College were on hand to advise those getting involved. Shocking Pink claimed the title ‘WorldSkills 2011 Favourite Colour’ and we also drew a winner from all of those who took part in our stencilling competition.
Over 1000 apprentices took part in the event as they competed against one another in teams representing 46 countries for medals. The total UK medal haul included 5 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze, an improvement on the last event held in Calgary in 2009. Also, Transport for London was testing additional transport systems that will be used for the Olympics next year, and the Docklands Light Railway had the busiest ever day in its history, creating a really special feeling about the event.
The event was certainly a success and demonstrated the fantastic skills of young people from all over the world. It was also a great show of how vocational careers can truly inspire the young to achieve their goals and support economic development for years to come.