There is a danger that there is not enough international interest in stonemasonry to keep the skill as part of the WorldSkills competiton.
Last year’s WorldSkills event was held in the UK at ExCeL London. It was a huge success and the most successful the UK team has ever competed in. Contributing to the UK medal tally was the Gold won by the UK stonemasonry entrant, Chris Berridge.
Now Kevin Calpin, the Chief Expert in stonemasonry for WorldSkills, has written to trade organisations and colleges across Europe to try to win their support for the WorldSkills contest.
He says: “As Chief Expert, I have a responsibility to first of all ensure Stonemasonry is not removed from the WorldSkills Competition because of lack of numbers and second, to contact countries and promote the Stonemasonry Competition. From this, my fervent hope is that the stone industries and colleges around the world will lobby for and support this and register a competitor for the next WorldSkills Competition to be held in Leipzig, Germany in 2013.”
WorldSkills rules require 12 countries to register for the 2013 competition by July this year. “If we fail to make the required number, Stonemasonry (our wonderful craft) will be lost forever as an official skill at WorldSkills!
“I am contacting people in countries who have a thriving stone industry to make their industry aware of the situation and spread the word… For Stonemasonry College Principals, I urge you to identify suitable young stonemasons who could represent your country and contact your WorldSkills Technical Delegate. In addition, you may be in contact with other schools who would be interested in registering a competitor. If required, I can supply you with drawings of past competition projects for information and can help with any competitions you may want to set up.”
For WorldSkills, the competitor must have been born on or before 1/1/1991 to be eligible.
Anyone in the UK or overseas who can help ensure that stonemasonry remains in WorldSkills should contact Kevin Calpin. His email address is: [email protected].