School of Education , University of Tampere, Finland
Updated 28.10.2011

Actualizing Vocational Excellence (AVE)

       In Finnish


This ongoing study investigates the role of World Skills Competition (WSC) participants natural abilities, intrinsic characteristics and extrinsic conditions to their talent development with qualitative and quantitative samples. The concepts of expertise and excellence were defined as follows: All the Finnish WSC team members eligible to compete at international level were considered to be vocational experts (groups B and C), but only the most successful in these competitions (group A, positions 1 – 7 in international skills competitions) would be at the level of vocational excellence.

Following research questions are formulated: (RQ 1) What characteristics specify WSC participants?; (RQ 2) How the WSC participants’ characteristics differ during training period, competitions and working life?; (RQ 3) What characteristics specify WSC participants’ initial interest towards the work field, perseverance in acquiring a vocational skill and mastery of the skill?; (RQ 4) What characteristics specify WSC participants’ employer?; (RQ 5) What are the WSC participants’ most essential natural abilities?; (RQ 6) What are the WSC participants’ most essential self-regulatory abilities?; (RQ 7) What is the influence of domain and non-domain specific factors to the WSC participants’ talent development?

Interviews for the first phase of the study were conducted with 14 Finnish team members and their trainers, parents and working life representatives (n = 30) in 2007-2009. Survey data was collected from 64 Finnish team members in 2008-2009. Current phase of the study examines past WSC medalists work careers with relevant control groups.



Modeling of Vocational Excellence



Petri Nokelainen

PhD, adjunct professor

GSM +358 40 557 4994

Pekka Ruohotie

PhD, professor of vocational education


Kari Korpelainen

PhD, adjunct professor