Presentation skills: A variety of training opportunities to explore
The Presentation Skills and Trades category at EuroSkills 2020 offers an insight into the great variety of training opportunities. A total of seven skills from various fields in the manufacturing industry, the service sector and craftsmanship is covered by this category. We take a closer look at these presentation skills and trades in this blog post.
This group of skills and trades, also referred to as “Host Presentation Skills”, is a unique category among the EuroSkills 2020 competition skills. The EuroSkills organisation team can select certain skills or trades in order to present and promote them at the event as part of a special competition. These skills are not subject to the rules of the main competition and are not officially judged, but the participants can still win medals and/or be awarded participation certificates for their performance. The results and scores, however, do not appear in the official records of WorldSkills Europe. Participation in these special competition skills is usually at the invitation of the EuroSkills host. At EuroSkills 2020, a total of seven different skills and trades fall under this category: Entrepreneurship/Business Development Team Challenge, Industry 4.0, Industrial Mechanics, Chemical Laboratory Technician, Freight Forwarding, Robot Systems Integration and Pharmacy Technician.
Talented businesspeople at work
An intrapreneur is an entrepreneur within a company who uses their entrepreneurial skills without taking the risks involved in these activities. Intrapreneurs are usually company employees tasked with developing a certain idea or project in the same way as an entrepreneur would do. An intrapreneur’s main responsibility is to transform this idea or project into a profitable endeavour. A business developer analytically prepares a company’s potential growth opportunities and subsequently supports and monitors their implementation. The specialist skills for all the above areas include creating and assessing a business plan by considering aspects such as finances, corporate structure, target group etc., as well as the actual incorporation and further development of a company. These skills will also be called into play at EuroSkills 2020 since one of the competition tasks might be to work out a complete business plan including all relevant details, in teams of two.
“Skills of the future” wanted
“Industry 4.0” also involves a competition skill. Information and communication technologies are constantly developing and therefore also have a strong influence on production processes, to the extent that their effects are compared to a “fourth industrial revolution”. Especially in large-scale manufacturing processes, Industry 4.0 expertise is required to guarantee high productivity in companies as well as faster response times in production processes. At EuroSkills 2020, the participants must first install all components mechanically, then establish an Ethernet communication between the communication components or even integrate an energy monitoring system. This skill is under the “patronage” of the EuroSkills 2020 Main Sponsor FESTO and is also being supported by the EuroSkills 2020 gold sponsor Siemens.
Industrial Mechanics put to the test
Complex industrial plants and machines require a very specific type of expertise. Industrial mechanics design, plan, install and start up industrial plants and are afterwards also responsible for maintaining and repairing them. They are generally called upon to ensure trouble-free operation of the machines and equipment as downtime can prove extremely expensive for companies. In case of business disruptions, industrial mechanics use measuring devices to systematically search for the causes of failures. They also dismantle defective components, replace faulty parts and, if necessary, manufacture replacement parts themselves. During their work they apply processing methods such as milling, screwing, drilling, turning, thread cutting, welding, soldering or brazing. They also produce housing and chassis parts made of sheet metal or aluminium. In the skills competition, industrial mechanics will manufacture appropriate workpieces, draw sketches, fit all components together, or carry out troubleshooting and document their work processes. The two companies Mitutoyo and Weiler & Kunzmann are supporting this competition skill as sponsors.
“Robotisation” at EuroSkills 2020
The Robot Systems Integration competition skill is a true “skill of the future”. The job of a robot systems integrator includes all working stages from a robot’s setup to its seamless operation. Besides connecting a robot to the power supply, this also includes the skilled integration of peripherals, programming and documentation, as well as robot maintenance and troubleshooting. This job is also subject to significant, and – in particular – ongoing change, as robotics is a constantly developing field. That’s why this skill requires not only expertise, but also a keen interest in technological developments and a willingness to undertake regular, continuous training. These are the very tasks that await the competitors at EuroSkills 2020, where the competition will set up and run by the Japanese company and EuroSkills 2020 sponsor FANUC, one of the leading manufacturers in the field. Shinichi Tanzawa, CEO and President of FANUC Europe Corporation talks about the company’s involvement: “The demand for robots and automation is growing continuously. This is true of many industries – from aircraft construction and medical technology, to the food industry – and especially in the automotive industry and other sectors where robots are already widely used. Even though industrial robots are becoming increasingly easier to operate, considerable knowledge is still required in order to use them safely and effectively. That’s why FANUC invests heavily in young people and their education and training in all aspects of robotics. In this way, we wish to promote robotisation and create an intelligent Factory of the Future.”
The Chemical Laboratory Technician skill in competition
At EuroSkills 2020, chemical laboratory technicians will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of an audience. Their daily work includes carrying out chemical, physiochemical and biochemical analyses and tests on a wide range of substances. Using partly computer-controlled laboratory equipment and microscopes, they analyse chemicals, living organisms (cells), intermediate and end products (e.g. synthetics, food, pharmaceuticals, etc.) for certain properties. Depending on a chemical laboratory technician’s specialism, there may be great differences in the properties to be investigated and the methods of analysis to be applied. At EuroSkills 2020, the competitors might be called upon to determine specific physical parameters and material constants such as temperature, density and viscosity. Separation and cleaning processes as well as thickening techniques may also be tested. Of course, this also involves complying with the relevant quality, safety and environmental standards and norms, as well as recording and evaluating the results with the utmost accuracy.
Debut for certified pharmacy technicians
Certified pharmacy technicians and their occupation will be represented at EuroSkills for the first time. Their daily work primarily involves dealing with the business tasks in the pharmacy. This includes activities such as settling charges with health insurance funds, correspondence, ordering of goods, price calculations or inventory taking. The job also involves selling goods that are not classified as medications but are still health-related in the widest sense, such as herbal remedies, bandages or special cosmetics. In addition, certified pharmacy technicians are required to assist with the preparation of various medications, and they are also responsible for attractively presenting the pharmacy’s display window and retail space. At the skills competition they might be called upon to order goods, thoroughly check goods in stock and ensure that the items are in date. Their laboratory work might also be put to the test, with various pharmacy activities such as the preparation of ointments, pills or medicinal teas.
From the office, around the world
Forwarding merchants are true experts in transporting goods from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whether it’s Japanese cars to be transported to Austria, wine to France or Italian goods to Germany, forwarding merchants ensure that the shipment of products and goods is carried out smoothly. State-of-the-art computer programs support the logistics specialists in planning efficient and optimised transport routes, for example avoiding empty trips wherever possible in order to save on resources. They not only organise the most suitable means of transport, but also arrange proper storage and deal with the customs clearance of the goods. Potential competition tasks might require the competitors to prepare a logistics concept including all the main aspects. Entrants might also be asked to carry out administrative tasks as part of the competition. This skill enjoys the strong support of our gold sponsor, Holding Graz.
The future of technology can be experienced at first hand in the EuroSkills 2020 Presentation Skills – among other things in Skill Robot Systems Integration. Photo: courtesy of WorldSkills International.