The SAM project for the development of a ‘Sector Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing’ has organised an online event with other Blueprint project leaders to discuss skills needs within their respective industries.
Fundación Laboral de la Construcción as leader of the Construction Blueprint project, has today sat down with the coordinators of three other projects on Sector Skills Alliances in the automotive (DRIVES), defence (ASSETs+ – Aerospace TBC) and maritime (MATES) sectors, led by the Blueprint for additive manufacturing (SAM), to present the results achieved by each partnership and to address their experience of additive manufacturing in their sector and the specific requirements and impact of additive manufacturing on the qualification and training of workers.
During the webinar, the perspectives of the four sectors were presented to understand the challenges and needs in relation to additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing). To achieve this goal of digitisation, it was argued that it is important to have a trained workforce with new skills to enable them to adapt to new changes. In this sense, students need to be prepared for jobs that have not yet been created and current employees will need retraining/upgrading to meet the present and future demands of the industry.
The event was attended by 34 participants from a wide range of backgrounds including: policy makers, industry organisations, blueprint project networks, as well as the general public interested in workplace transformations due to the adoption of digital and enabling technologies.
After the overview of the results achieved by the automotive, defence, maritime and construction consortia (our Contruction Blueprint), each speaker discussed the experience in additive manufacturing, i.e. the challenges of using the technology in their sector, the specific requirements, the impact of its use on the qualification and training of workers, among others.
Main conclusions of the inter-sectoral debate:
- Globally, the represented sectors have different paces concerning the use of additive manufacturing technology, which translates into wide applications (such as in the Automotive sector) or rather a sparse use (such as in the construction area);
- The main challenges faced by the sectors are related to lack of qualified personnel, allied with lack of information on additive manufacturing advantages and potentialities, as well as the lack of resources for investing in equipment, especially for small companies;
- The Maritime sector has identified the current need for reskilling engineers on 3D printing design software, 3D design, data-based modelling; production processes; safety and regulatory parameters and software;
- Also, the maritime sector has identified the need at long term (from 2025 to 2030) for qualifying 3D printing technician and 3D modeler professionals;
- Raising awareness on the use and advantages of additive manufacturing allied with flexible training programmes and systematic collaborative approach among stakeholders were pointed as key actions to ensure the uptake of new technologies in the future