Industry looking for new resources and ready to invest in training: here’s how manufacturing prepares for tomorrow’s challenges

The difficulty of finding human resources in 2023 has had a big impact on companies in the industry, which are now pushing training;
Data from the MECSPE Observatory presented during the ongoing fair in Bologna show that more than 50 percent of companies collaborate with ITS and universities to introduce new skills in the company;
Corporate training is also crucial, especially in view of the implementation of new technologies.

Bologna, March 7, 2024 – The manufacturing business is looking for competent workers, and one of the most pressing concerns facing the industry in recent years has been a skills shortage.
In fact, according to the MECSPE Observatory — which was presented yesterday at the opening of the landmark fair for manufacturing, organized by Senaf and running in Bologna until March 8 — in 2023, more than half of the companies surveyed were significantly impacted by the difficulty of finding human resources (51 percent): a figure in line with recent Unioncamere surveys, which show that in February 2024 there were 127,270 skilled laborers sought, but of these as many as 60 percent cannot be found.

ITSs at the service of businesses
To compensate for the shortage of qualified personnel, an increasing number of businesses are collaborating with universities and ITS institutes, which provide highly specialized training courses for technical fields and offer higher education alternatives to the university route, with the goal of immediate entry into the workforce. Employment data show that 12 months after graduation, 86.5 percent of ITS graduates found employment, confirming the great value these institutions represent in terms of the workforce. In general, firms must work with educational institutions and universities to identify fresh resources and talent to support corporate growth and market demands.

For this reason, nearly 6 out of 10 companies in the sample surveyed by MECSPE already collaborate with ITSs and/or universities, while nearly 3 out of 10 companies plan to do so.

Incentives and internal training
On the other hand, as far as internal staff skills are concerned, according to the Observatory, only 47 percent of the surveyed companies say they have resources with adequate skills for their objectives. Therefore, many of them have already introduced corporate training courses (57 percent), while 13 percent plan to introduce them soon.

In fact, among the most popular government incentives in 2023 is the Training 4.0 Tax Credit, which more than a quarter of the sample would like to take advantage of. For 25 percent of the companies, one of the main benefits of the investments was precisely that they were able to enjoy more qualified staff, reflecting the positive impact of the incentives on training.

There is an increasing need for new skills in business as many entrepreneurs in 2024 will introduce innovative technologies, first among them Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and collaborative robotics; therefore, training resources becomes a priority.

MECSPE’s training initiatives
For more than two decades, MECSPE has been committed to cultivating the future of industry on three directives, such as innovation, sustainability and placing great emphasis on training, acting as a bridge between students, young recent graduates, and companies. Therefore, at each edition, the fair gives space for educational activities and provides a stage for innovative projects presented by talented students

It is precisely the latter that will be the protagonists inside Piazza Stampo, in Hall 36, with the DEMU project, in which the students of the second year of the degree course in Design organized in Vicenza by the IUAV University of Venice participated.
The objective of the contest is to enhance the potential of advanced injection molding through the design of a small object made of renewable source polymers that has practical utility and is durable. Due to its characteristics of immediacy, usefulness, and ease of communication, the winning project was the folding travel hanger “Jaketa”.

Always active on the recruiting front, MECSPE is also hosting in this edition MECSPE Young & Career, a path created with the aim of offering young visitors the opportunity to participate in the training appointments organized by the fair and exhibitors, to get in touch with companies active in the theme of orientation and training, and to apply for job opportunities offered by exhibitors.

“For us, it is fundamental to give space to young talents and bring them closer to the world of manufacturing, which too often is the subject of false clichés,” says Maruska Sabato, MECSPE project manager. “That is why every year we provide initiatives in which young people are protagonists and can show their projects directly to companies, discover the countless job opportunities, and broaden their knowledge about the prospects offered by manufacturing. There is a need for entrepreneurs to get in touch with the younger generation to guide them in the world of industry, but also to grasp the new stimuli and perspectives they can bring to the industry. Work is changing, and it is unthinkable to lag behind in terms of digitization and sustainability, elements that are increasingly essential for young people, the real protagonists of tomorrow’s industry”

Facts and figures of MECSPE BOLOGNA 2024

59,845 trade visitors (2003 edition), 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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