Leather & Footwear

Learn2Work meet to boost footwear industry

In a conference in Brussels, the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) and team Think Young that supports young people’s interests presented an innovative training model. The model is expected to act as a linking bridge between the world of education and the footwear industry’s needs.

With the title “Innovative Fashion: closing the gap between education and employment”, the conference was attended by various stakeholders, EU institution officials, industry associations, trade unions, and education providers, “who were all invited to work together to recognize and adopt the new learning model of manufacturing occupations”.

This ‘on- the- job-training’ methodology was inspired by the successful Danish ‘Production School model’. It is based on ‘learning by doing’ and introduces a “comprehensive set of social, personal, and professional skills, necessary for good performance and professional growth in the work place”, says CEC. Particularly designed for NEET people which is basically the group of young people who are Not in Education, Employment, or Training, who are at risk of continued and future unemployment, the teaching, supported by peer-to-peer learning and led by tutors who use innovative assessment tools would enhance students’ motivation.

The three pilot exercises were carried out last year in educational centers in Italy, Portugal and Spain and they have revealed the interest and motivation of the students. The project partners opined that they now count on Europe’s regional authorities and education providers in Italy, Portugal and Spain to work together to recognize the Learn2Work model, “as this will give young people a chance to develop a successful and rewarding career in a sector which heavily relies on and values highly skilled and dedicated workers”. The CEC was concluded by calling on public administrations at EU at the national as well as regional levels, to help facilitate a smooth transition from education to work in order to quickly adapt to rapid industry changes led by digitalization and new technologies.

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