Training and young people key to boosting manufacturing: focus on new 5.0 skills at MECSPE 2025

MECSPE will come back to BolognaFiere from 5th to 7th March 2025, with a focus on new 5.0 skills 

The upcoming edition of Italy’s most significant manufacturing expo will highlight talent training as a main theme, reducing the critical gap between supply and demand for skilled workers.
The 23rd edition of MECSPE will take place in Bologna from March 5 to 7, 2025, with a revamped program that focuses on sustainability, innovation, and, most importantly, training.

Milan, May 21, 2024 – In March 2024, the employment rate in Italy hit 62.1 percent, marking the highest figure in the past 20 years . This is an encouraging indicator for the domestic market, but it continues to highlight major industry challenges due to a mismatch between supply and demand for trained personnel in Italian manufacturing.
Manufacturing is facing a shortage of human resources, particularly in the mechanical, textile, and metallurgical sectors. In fact, as many as 65% of the specialized workers sought by companies are difficult to find. This is not an insignificant figure when one considers that from April to June 2024, the industry sector expects the entry of 393,840 resources, 250,830 of which are in manufacturing alone.

It is precisely with the aim of creating a bridge between companies and talent that MECSPE, the benchmark exhibition for the manufacturing industry organized by Senaf, returns to Bologna March 5-7, 2025, building on the success of the last edition. Training, along with innovation and sustainability, is one of the fair’s focal points, and in the next edition, it will have even more space to suit the demands of firms looking for a far larger workforce than the market now provides.

Thanks to the direct participation of the ITS Academies, specialized post-diploma higher education schools with 349 study courses , MECSPE will highlight the pivotal role these institutions can play in preparing trained resources ready to enter the market. The most popular course is New Technologies of Made in Italy, where the largest number of enrollments is for the Mechanical System course (41.6 percent), followed by Agribusiness System (22.9 percent), Fashion System (18.1 percent), Business Services (13.2 percent), and Home System (4.2 percent). As a testament to the value of the training received, the INDIRE 2024 monitoring shows that as many as 87 percent of ITS graduates find work within a year of graduation and, for most of them, in a field consistent with their specialization.

More and more companies are forming relationships with ITSs: according to the MECSPE Observatory, more than half of the companies surveyed are already collaborating with them, a good figure that, however, needs to be nurtured, especially for those 5 out of 10 entrepreneurs who have identified precisely the difficulty of finding human resources as their greatest criticality in the previous year. And if we count that nearly a quarter of companies want to grow in size in the next two years, expanding the workforce with specialized people takes on even greater importance.

“Training specialized professionals is crucial to the growth of Italian manufacturing, and ITSs play a key role in preparing young talent with advanced technical skills.” — comments Maruska Sabato, MECSPE project manager. “Many entrepreneurs already use partnerships with these institutes or universities to find the necessary resources, but it is crucial that the number of companies involved continues to grow. We want to accelerate this process, bringing more and more companies closer to the highest level of training that Italy offers. MECSPE, in this sense, is the ideal context for facilitating the meeting of supply and demand for skilled labor, and is an innovation accelerator where professionals of the future can touch upon technological innovations, aligning themselves with the ongoing digital and ecological transition.”

Also important is the role of universities in preparing talent with new 5.0 skills; again, the MECSPE Observatory, in fact, reports that nearly 6 out of 10 companies in the surveyed sample already collaborate with ITS and/or universities, while nearly 3 out of 10 companies plan to do so. As a demonstration of this, MECSPE 2024 saw the presentation of the DEMU project, a contest promoted among students in the Design degree course organized in Vicenza by the IUAV University of Venice to enhance the potential of advanced injection molding through the design of a small object made of polymers from renewable sources.

“Starting with a publication by professors at IUAV in Venice, named “Good Plastic”, we started a real production process to create a new product, the result of a design competition carried out by students in the Design degree program. We combined the synergies of the university and several companies to find solutions of a different nature by thinking about sustainability and innovation, topics that are much talked about but still too little shown as real industrial production.” Sergio Monteverde, Ewikon’s Italy sales manager, said.

Through special initiatives and networking areas aimed at bringing students and young professionals closer to the world of industry, MECSPE will serve as a stage to show how the manufacturing sector is transforming itself to shape the future of the Italian economy by integrating sustainability and digitizing its processes. The industry is ready to embrace the new Transition 5.0 Plan incentives under the NRRP, which will unlock funds of up to €6.3 billion for the digital and green transition of businesses.

The 23rd edition of MECSPE will focus precisely on supporting companies in transforming their business models and updating them on all the latest developments in industry and technology. The upcoming edition follows a particularly successful year for the fair, which saw nearly 7 out of 10 exhibitors say that attending MECSPE is important to them, a figure that has been growing steadily since 2019. Satisfaction for both exhibitors and visitors is also increasing at the same rate, with more than half of them believing that the meetings with industry professionals that took place during the 2024 edition will influence their career choices.

Facts and figures of MECSPE BOLOGNA 2024

66,906 trade visitors, 92,000 square meters of exhibition space, 2,000 companies, 2,000 square metres of MECSPE LAB, – Spazio Innovazione along with 18 special initiatives and 72 conferences.


MECSPE Exhibitions

Machines and Tools – Machine tools, Equipment, Tools and Design Software; Machines, Materials and Sheet Metal Working – Bending, Stamping, Cutting, Assembly, Welding, Materials and Software; Digital Factory – Industrial Informatics, IoT, Industrial Sensing, Cloud-manufacturing, Automatic Identification Technologies, Applications, Devices, Instrumentation and Intelligent Components for Process Interpretation and Interconnection; Logistics – Packaging, Handling, Material handling, Lean manufacturing, Warehouse management software, Supply chain management, Safety systems, PPE, Outsourcing; Mechanical Subcontracting – Precision mechanical processing, Metal carpentry, Mechanical construction, Fasteners, Foundries, Small parts, Wire processing, Contract industrial processing, Micromachining; Electronic subcontracting – Cem (contract electronics manufacturer), Wiring harnesses, Ems (electronics manufacturing service), PCB (printed circuit board manufacturers), Engineering and design offices; Eurostampi – Plastics, rubber and composites – Plastics, rubber and composites processing, Machines and plants, Auxiliary equipment, Innovative materials, Moulding, Extrusion, Packaging, Blowing, Moulds, Models, Standardized components for molds, Design, Simulation and design software, Micromachining; Additive Manufacturing – 3D printing, Rapid prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, Systems and services for reverse engineering, Additive technology, Materials, Services, Hardware: 3D printers and scanners, accessories, Simulation and design software; Treatments and Finishes – Surface Treatment Plants, Furnaces, Electroplating, Chemical and Electronic Processes, Washing, Metallization, Enamelling, Galvanizing, Products and accessories for treatments, Heat Treatments, Painting; Non-Ferrous Materials and Alloys – Processing of non-ferrous materials (Aluminum, Titanium, Magnesium, Light Alloys), Die Castings, Foundries, Contract Industrial Processing, Technologies, Design, Engineering; Automation and Robotics – Automation and Robotics, Assembly, Mounting and Handling; Control and Quality – Certification and quality control, Metrology, Measuring instruments, Laboratory testing, Calibration, Analytical equipment, Vision; Power Drive – Mechanical power transmission devices, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Mechatronics, Motion control, Maintenance, Compressed air.

For further information visit www.mecspe.com

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