TCLF sectors gather in Porto to discuss up-skilling and re-skilling
Representatives from the Textile, Clothing, Leather, and Footwear (TCLF) sectors have gathered in Porto, Portugal, driven by the difficulty of finding new talent with the right skills for companies, in order to attend the event "Fashion World's Challenges - Looking for Qualification, Occupations… and the right skills in the TCLF sectors" organised by the Erasmus+ Skills4Smart TCLF 2030 project, in which INESCOP participates as a partner.
The re-and up-skilling of the workforce and the difficulty of finding new talents with the right skills were the main topics discussed at the two first events on “Fashion World's Challenges - Looking for Qualification, Occupations… and the right skills in the TCLF sectors”, which took place on 22nd and 23rd January in different cities of Portugal.
Both seminars brought together, national and international experts and industry stakeholders to discuss the future of the workforce in Fashion industries. On 22nd January, there was a first conference focused mainly on the textile and clothing sectors that took place at CITEVE (Portuguese Technological Centre for Textile and Clothing) premises, and the following day, CTCP (Portuguese Footwear Technology Centre) hosted the second event involving companies, VET providers and stakeholders of the leather and footwear industries.
The conclusions of both events highlighted the urgency of taking actions. We are living in an age in which the pace of change is incredibly rising, digitalisation and most advanced technology are affecting the way of working, the retirement wave of experienced workers is intensifying, traditional jobs are destroyed and at the same time replaced and recreated, the number of students in vocational training and educational system is continuously diminishing… and the TCLF sectors have still not found sustainable solutions for this complex situation.
“For many years our first priority was to win customers and to keep our mill busy. Now our first priority is to find (and retain) skilled employees”. This brief quote of Simon Cotton, CEO of Johnstons of Elgin, Scottish knitwear manufacturer sums up superbly the main challenge that European Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (TCLF) companies are struggling to overcome every day.
Lifelong learning should be promoted in each company and we should make the TCLF sector more attractive to the younger generations. Robotics, automation and digitalisation are already a reality in these industries; it is the moment to put them in good use to attract the youngsters.
Erasmus+ Skills4Smart: Upgrading TCLF sectors
The second progress meeting of the Erasmus project “Skills for Smart Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear Industries 2030 (Skills4Smart TCLF 2030)”, in which INESCOP participates as a partner, took place simultaneously.
The main goals of this project are to share knowledge and best practices in order to anticipate skills needs, and to improve the employability and the training of right competences. In the coming months, the S4TCLF partnership will develop a new sectoral skill strategy, a new attractiveness campaign of TCLF careers and 8 new curricula for 8 TCLF occupations.
In this European project, coordinated by EURATEX, 21 partners from nine countries participate, which represent the textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries. The latter is embodied by INESCOP, the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC), the Portuguese Footwear Technological Centre (CTCP) and the Politécnico Calzaturiero of Padua (Italy).
Click here for more information about the Erasmus+ Skills4Smart TCLF 2030 project.