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Exploring Excellence: A Day at 'Meet the Champions of Excellence' in Brussels

On February 23rd, Pieter Hoekstra, accompanied by Simon Feersma Hoekstra and a group of students from Aeres, Firda and Yuverta, embarked on a journey to Brussels. Their destination? "Meet the Champions of Excellence," a flagship event of the European Year of Skills. Organized jointly by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, this event was a celebration of vocational education and training (VET) as a pathway to quality employment.

The participants were greeted by 35 young champions, showcasing their skills honed through competitions such as WorldSkills, EuroSkills, and Abylimpics. These champions embodied the spirit of dedication and excellence, serving as inspirations to the aspiring youth in attendance. Rather than a conventional conference, "Meet the Champions of Excellence" was designed to be an immersive experience. High-level plenary sessions, complemented by four parallel workshops, provided valuable insights into the world of VET and skills development. Participants had the unique opportunity to witness skills demonstrations firsthand, ranging from traditional crafts to cutting-edge technologies like robotics, virtual reality, design, and 3D printing.

The event was not merely about observation; it was about engagement and interaction. Attendees could explore nearly 20 stands, delving deeper into topics such as work-based learning, the European Year of Skills, and the importance of social and civil dialogue.

"Meet the Champions of Excellence" serves as a reminder that excellence knows no bounds and that with dedication and opportunity, anyone can become a champion in their chosen field!

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