Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony
Dear participants, dear visitors,
well-trained, socially competent and creative people represent the potential and the "legacy" of a country. I am thrilled to see the very best young professionals from over 60 countries coming together at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig. Across 46 events, they will display their skills and offer visitors exciting glimpses into their respective fields of expertise. With so many participants, visitors and representatives from businesses bustling around Leipzig, we expect the Competition to have a positive effect on the business and tourism hotspot Saxony.
In the past 20 years, Saxony has been fortunate to become a significant center for business, industry and innovation. One case in point is Silicon Saxony. With around 48,000 employees, it is the largest center for semiconductors, electronics and microsystems in Europe. Other examples are the flourishing Saxon automobile and mechanical engineering industries. In an attempt to maintain the strength and vitality of Saxon industries, the State Government is constantly working on sustainable solutions.
The Free State of Saxony is a pioneer when it comes to the dual vocational education system. We have the German Abitur, offer occupational integration and transition programs and promote continued education and training. Moreover, the State Government also deliberately seeks the public dialogue. For example, the Saxon Ministry for Economy, Employment and Transportation regularly holds open forums for different occupational fields. At WorldSkills 2013, there will one on the subject of education.
I am exceptionally glad to host WorldSkills in Leipzig this July and am convinced that our visitors will witness exciting competitions and interesting careers. At the same time, WorldSkills is a great platform for participants to get in touch with regional and international businesses.
I would like to thank the organizers, sponsors and promoters, as well as the many volunteer helpers, without whom WorldSkills 2013 would not be possible. As for the participants, I wish you a successful competition and lasting business relationships. And may all our visitors have an interesting and pleasant stay in Leipzig.