(12/01/2013 / nho)

Future skills in the graphical industry project kicks off

Together Intergraf and UNI Europa Graphical in partnership with the European Graphic/Media Industry Network (EGIN) have been awarded funding from the European Commission to undertake a project entitled Future Skills in the Graphical Industry: Identifying and promoting best practices in Europe.

The project is in support of the graphical sector’s European Sectoral Social Dialogue which started in May 2013 and has the issue of “skills”, amongst others, as one of its core topics. The project will run from November 2013 until November 2014 with a total budget of €245,500, co-financed by the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. It aims to provide the social partners and educational institutions with best practices for skills analysis, development and implementation in education.

The printing industry in Europe is facing a number of structural changes, one of them being the change in communication demands and possibilities due to technological innovation (digitisation, new means of communication like tablets, mobile devices, internet, social media and the like). Therefore there is a strong need for most companies to change their strategy, to apply new, innovative technology and to extend their services in the media or communication industry. In order to facilitate this change, new skills need to be acquired and new jobs need to be created in printing companies. The focus of this project is on the identification of these future skill needs and the best practice on how these can be put into practice.

After gathering existing information, an online questionnaire will be used to obtain further data from selected experts to find best practices in skills identification, development, and successful implementation. The result will be a draft report describing best practices.

While Intergraf is the contractual partner in the programme, the project will be jointly led by Intergraf and UNI Europa Graphical. The research will be undertaken mainly by the EGIN network, the established forum of co-operation in the areas of education, training, labour market and research amongst the social partners of the graphic media and creative industry. Intergraf and UNI Europa Graphical will support this process.

Validation of the results will be done by a group of some 25 experts, selected by the project partners from their networks, external organisations and companies. The findings of the experts, the results of the field research and a proposal on how to exchange the information on skills needs and development will be the input for the report and for the final conference.

The final conference in Berlin, for 100 persons consisting of representatives of the Social Partners, the EGIN Network, companies and educational institutions, will discuss the report. In addition, invited experts in education and labour market issues will share their views with the participants.

Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf said: “We are very pleased being awarded this project in order to support our sector in the structural change. I believe that the project will benefit companies as well as workers and contribute to a sustained reorientation towards new services and new markets for the graphical industry.”

Nicola Konstantinou of UNI Europa Graphical, said: “We look forward to start working on the development of skills in the graphical industry, this is a key issue for the future of the sector”

Rense van der Heide of the EGIN network said: “Skills are the basis for change in the communication and creative sector. Learning from what we already know, cleverly reusing this knowledge and most importantly, not being afraid to go into unknown areas, forms a solid foundation for  skills development in the industry.