29 June 2023

Shweta Ratanpura was recently elected as a 2023 to 2024 Worldskills Champions Trust representative, after earning a bronze medal in Graphic Design Technology at WorldSkills Kazan 2019. The Champion, who comes from India, hopes to be a voice for young people, and especially young women.

Why did you apply to become a WorldSkills Champions Trust representative? How did it feel to be elected?

WorldSkills gave me the platform to feel confident and courageous about my skill. In my country, skill-based careers are not always valued. There are not a lot of opportunities for skilled people to grow professionally. Even before becoming a WorldSkills Champions Trust representative, I tried spreading more awareness about the power of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. I wanted to become a Champions Trust representative to do that on a bigger level, and get a lot more people by my side to help me raise my voice and spread it out loud. When I got elected, I was overjoyed.

What does the WorldSkills movement mean to you? How would you describe it in three words?

WorldSkills means a lot to me. It’s not just about the professional work or skills, but about life in general. WorldSkills is about meeting new people from all over the world, learning from them, and making a new family. It’s unique.

What is your advice to current Competitors and how do you wish to inspire them as a WorldSkills Champions Trust representative?

You’ve already come a long way if you are competing, you’ve already realized the power of your skills and have put it forward: that’s a great first step. Regardless of the results of the Competition, you’re a Champion already. It was a journey for me to enter a space where my career is also my hobby. I had to face challenges because of my society and the image that skills can have in my country. I owned the respect I deserved later through WorldSkills and saw myself inspiring young people to also pursue that kind of field, despite the opinions others can have.

“WorldSkills is about meeting new people from all over the world, learning from them, and making a new family.”

What would you say to a young person hesitating to enter a skill-based education and training path?

Just do it. If you enjoy it, it will not feel like work. It’s better to do something you’re passionate about.

Do you have a favorite WorldSkills memory, an anecdote to share?

While we were on the flight from India to WorldSkills Kazan 2019, my teammates and I watched the famous Indian movie Chak de India, about a girl’s hockey team in India. Usually, women in our country are not always respected in sports, but that movie brought a change to that sentiment because it shows how women players from a small part of the country went to a competition to represent India and won a medal. Watching this movie on our flight to the Worldskills Competition was an emotional moment for us because we were also going to represent our country abroad, and that’s something we never thought we would be given the opportunity to.

Discover more about the WorldSkills 2023 to 2024 Champions Trust representatives with our portraits and interviews.

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