China has sent its largest delegation yet to compete in the 45th WorldSkills Competition which opens in Kazan, Russia, on Thursday evening.
The 63 young professionals will compete in all 56 programs. They are part of a 210-strong delegation which also includes experts, interpreters and staff.
The Chinese contestants — 54 men and 9 women — have an average age of 21 with the youngest under 18.
Forty-two are from universities, vocational and technical colleges and schools as well as job training organizations, 14 are teachers and seven are company employees.
Compared with four previous delegations from China, this one has a larger percentage of college students.
Zhang Lixin, head of the professional capabilities building department of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said China is more ready and more competitive than ever.
“Our delegation expects to win medals in those programs in which we’re traditionally good at, and especially on the programs of welding, CNC milling and car painting we’re striving for gold,” he said.
The 10 Shanghai contestants, also a record high, will be competing in nine skill categories including autobody repair, floristry, health and social care, print media technology and restaurant service.
Zhang Lan, vice head of the city’s human resources and social security bureau, said the contestants are better prepared psychologically than before as trainers have drawn experience from past competitions.
A total of 1,355 young professionals from 69 countries and regions are taking part in the competition.
China first entered the competition in 2011 and during the past four editions of the competition has reaped 20 gold medals, 15 silver, 15 bronze and 41 other prizes.
The 46th WorldSkills Competition is to be held in Shanghai in September 2021.