21-year-old aiming to become the world's best painter

In August, the world championships of vocational skills will take place in Kazan in Russia. 21-year-old Jessica Jörges wants to prove she's the best painter in the world, and not just in Germany. Together with 39 of the best skilled workers in Germany, she is aiming for a medal. However, she will not have it easy against more than 1,350 of the best competitors in the world.

Jessica George, Germany's best painter, has a high-profile blog called Bunte Zukunft, "Colourful future". Here you can see for yourself the enthusiasm and passion she has for her occupation, as well as her hard and challenging training regime for the skills world championships. This is because the 21-year old from Dreieich in Hesse is training for the world championships of vocational skills being held from 22 to 27 August in Kazan in Russia. Her discipline is "painter". She was best in her guild, best in her federal state and a national winner. Now she wants a world championship medal. "The chance to stand on the podium is my greatest dream."

She was born into the skilled craft of painting. Her mother took over the business from her parents and grandparents and her father retrained in order to run the business with his wife. Jessica had already made an announcement early on at nursery: "I want to be a painter." But it wasn't until searching in vain for a subject she wanted to study after completing the upper secondary school-leaving certificate that her interest returned to the skilled trade. "So far I have not found a single subject which can compete with this wonderful occupation. So, after the training, there will be nothing else, I'm staying in this occupation and want to become even better," explains the competitor.

The very best skilled workers are training hard for the title of world champion

Jessica is one of 39 world championship participants, all young skilled workers from the skilled trades, from industry and from the service sector, and none of which are older than 23. At WorldSkills Kazan 2019 they are competing in 34 vocational disciplines including mechatronics, concrete construction work, floristry, and print media technology against the best international colleagues. And what is the main objective of these top, talented individuals? They all want to show that German dual training provides an outstanding basis for top-level performances in the world of work and that they can compete with the best in the world.

All participants have previously qualified in Germany through several selection competitions for the world championships of vocational skills and over recent weeks have been training hard alongside their job, frequently during their free time. The national trainers, themselves trainers in the respective disciplines, are always at their side. "Our experts, who pass on their experiences to the young skilled workers, know exactly how hard the international competitions are," explains Hubert Romer, Director of WorldSkills Germany. "The level of the international competitions is often above the level of the final examinations which take place at the end of the training in Germany. The competitions therefore demand the very best performances from our participants. On the other hand, they provide ideal opportunities for continuing education and training which the respective companies benefit from in each case when participants return from the competition with a wealth of experience."

Jessica Jörges will have to face a series of demanding tasks in the competition. "I'll be shown two colour shades, for example, and will have to recreate these as closely as possible by mixing colours. I'll paint them onto panels next to the original shade and the jury will assess how close I am to the original," explains the world championship participant. "I then have to mix a harmonising shade of two further shades between the light and the dark shade in order to produce a colour progression like on a colour chart. It is all done by eye. This makes the task really difficult, but also exciting."

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research plays host to Team Germany

Team Germany, comprising around 100 individuals, recently came together for final joint preparations for the world championships in Kazan. First, Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek hosted the national skills team at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. "Dual vocational education and training in Germany is a proven and internationally highly-respected pathway into an occupation. We keep up to speed with international developments and compete well internationally. I am therefore delighted that young skilled workers from Germany - each the best in their profession - will be competing for medals at WorldSkills in Kazan," explained the Federal Minister in Berlin. "At this world skills championships, they and their trainers will gain immense experience and ideas which, in turn, will benefit vocational education and training in Germany."

There was a great atmosphere for the workshops, mental training and team building activities which then followed for Team Germany on Friday and Saturday. It's not just technical but also mental preparation, and the team experience, which will help participants deliver the best performances at the world championships. "There are two sentences which really left their mark from the mental training in the teamwork," explained Hubert Romer, summing up the important preparation work for the world championships. "Firstly, winning medals is about being in the right place mentally. Secondly, only the hardworking succeed."

Jessica Jörges and her 38 team colleagues therefore still have a few training units to complete over the coming weeks leading up to the world championships. Jessica for example will practice freehand painting of a delicate design in Munich. This is all about getting the dimensions completely accurate. This is because ultimately the main objective for the talented blogger is to bring home a gold medal to Germany.

The participation of the German national skills team at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. CWS-boco International GmbH are also a presenter partner of WorldSkills Germany and SAMSUNG Electronics GmbH are the official partners of the German national team for the 45th world championships of vocational skills.

Source: worldskillsgermany.com (news platform of World Skills Germany), revised by iMOVE, October 2019