MECSPE Bari 2023: a link between business and education

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Italian industry, with more than 453,000 active enterprises, remains solid and a fundamental pillar of our country’s economy. According to the analysis conducted by MECSPE, the leading international trade fair for the manufacturing industry organized by Senaf (Bari, Nov. 23-25, 2023), more than 400,000 workers are expected to be employed in the industry from May to July, but the objective difficulty remains in finding qualified personnel, particularly skilled workers, as found by 63 percent of companies. And this is precisely the challenge that the industry will face in the coming years to respond to an industry that is changing its skin, becoming more technological, innovative, sustainable, and attractive to young people. Indeed, the younger generation is attractive to businesses, especially if they have the right training. With this goal in mind, ITS – Istituti Tecnici Superiori, were born, which together with universities represent an important bridge between the world of industry and the world of work, providing students with solid technical and professional training in strategic sectors such as mechanics and Industry 4.0. Entrepreneurs have already realized the importance of this channel for finding partly qualified and predisposed young talents, so much so that 32 percent already work with them and 35 percent are interested in doing so in the near future. To date, there are 130 ITSs in Italy, including 14 in the Mechanics System, and according to INDIRE‘s latest data, 91 percent of graduates have found a job consistent with their course of study one year after graduation, effectively constituting a solution to the difficulty companies have in finding specialized figures. All this thanks to the direct cooperation of companies. And it is precisely to facilitate the meeting between entrepreneurs and these realities that MECSPE has renewed its collaboration with a Bari-based excellence, the ITS A. Cuccovillo Foundation (Institute of the Mechanics-Mechatronics System), to organize the “Piazza della Formazione 4.0″. A space where the Institute and partner companies will tell, with students’ active input and practical demonstrations, about their experiences and opportunities for the area, confirming the importance of the link between business and education. “The ITS of the Mechanics System today represents a valid channel both to train young people on issues related to Industry 4.0 and to help companies find personnel with professional characteristics that are difficult to find on the market”, comments Roberto Vingiani, Technical Director of the ITS A. Cuccovillo Foundation in Bari. “But in order to develop educational programs in line with the needs of the labor world a close and constant relationship with companies becomes essential. To date, our ITS averages 92 percent employment 12 months after graduation. In this context, MECSPE, thanks also to Training Plaza 4.0, is the ideal place to enhance the virtuous system of ITSs by recounting successful experiences with the involvement of partner companies and students. Once again this year, in fact, the initiative will actively involve young people to encourage them to improve their soft skills as well”. “All along MECSPE aims to foster a constructive dialogue between companies and the labor world, especially now that the drive for innovation requires new skills – said Maruska Sabato, MECSPE Project Manager -. Companies and their production processes are markedly more evolved and there is a greater need for competent and up-to-date professionals capable of facing the challenges of Industry 4.0. Despite the positive trend in the sector, today there is a glaring gap on the resource availability front, also caused by schooling that is not always adequate. ITS can thus help bridge the gap between education and industry by providing young people with the skills they need to pursue a career path in manufacturing. With MECSPE, we will continue to promote the value of training in all its aspects because it represents, along with innovation, the engine for accelerating the development of the industry”. Training will therefore be one of the main macro-themes of the Bari edition of MECSPE, along with innovation and sustainability, which represent the three cornerstones for the entire manufacturing industry. There is no growth without innovation, just as you cannot look to the future if you do not have the skills and a long-term vision that takes into account environmental impact. A mix of factors that MECSPE has always put at the center of the event, thanks to the involvement of companies, industry associations, and training institutions. All in a space of as much as 20,000 square meters designed to foster networking and training activities and transform Bari as a Southern and Central Italy manufacturing engine.