The international EuroSkills 2020 competition has been postponed from this September until next year, it has been announced.
It will now take place between 6 and 10 January 2021, but will still be held in the Austrian city of Graz, the original venue.
EuroSkills is a companion event to the WorldSkills tournaments which Team UK competes in alongside other European nations.
A EuroSkills spokesperson said: “The new dates for EuroSkills give the health authorities, the Austrian Federal Ministry, the Government of the Province of Styria, the City of Graz, and all involved in the organisation of the event the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID–19 pandemic.
“We understand that the decision to postpone EuroSkills Graz 2020 will be disappointing for some, but the safety and wellbeing of all involved is paramount.
“We also know that this decision is in the best interests of everyone involved in the event and we appreciate the understanding and support of our generous WorldSkills Europe community at this time.”
Ben Blackledge, deputy chief Executive of WorldSkills UK and UK Technical Delegate for WorldSkills Europe said the decision to postpone was taken to “safeguard the health of all involved in the event and to contribute to the containment of COVID-19”.
“WorldSkills UK is committed to participating in the EuroSkills Competition,” he added.
“Our number one priority remains the safety of the UK delegation and we will continue to act on the advice of the UK government and will travel to the event if only safe to do so.”