Analysts and observers of economic phenomena share the opinion that the health emergency determined by Covid-19 will not be resolved with a framework of restored balance and restart as if it had been “just” a bad parenthesis. Even in the world of production, many operating modes will inevitably change, there will be new parameters and new paradigms. But there is already a certain fact, and it is the need of every economy to resume a path in which the know-how connected with new technologies will have increasing importance.
Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, Lean Manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and other digital applications represent the business ground on which the capacities of the different European economies will be measured to keep pace with the technological development of the most advanced countries. From this point of view, the Italian system has distinguished itself in recent years for a fair level of investment, thanks to the foresight of companies that have understood the absolute relevance of these strategic sectors. But this encouraging research and investment capacity is counterbalanced by ISTAT data which reveal a significant delay in the digital training of workers and younger generations, which ultimately affects the possibility for the industries of finding human resources capable of handling such advanced and sophisticated technological processes.
Therefore, in Italy as in other countries, new training courses are needed in line with the needs and expectations of the industries, and it is with this aim that an international consortium of public and private entities, recently established, has given rise to “1Point – VET training using the one-point lessons approach“. The project, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme 2014-2020, aims to develop and test an innovative methodology in the field of training of industrial maintenance staff, considered by now unanimously a key sector for the correct technical and economic management of production processes, especially those characterized by high technological intensity.
The premise underlying 1Point’s work is the consideration that the next generation of industrial workers should be technology-savvy, while teaching programmes and methodologies are on average lagging behind this objective. There are virtuous examples, even in Italy, where some specific courses and the ITS network have proved to be able to keep up with the times. But on average there is still a long way to go, and the 1Point project aims to remedy the shortcomings of the system with an approach that will help participants to carry out and reflect on tasks related to a professional context, with a directly operational cut.
The learning methodology will include both the use of modern ICT technologies, accessible from different mobile devices and gamification aspects, the effectiveness of which is now widely demonstrated. In this way, and through a training course specifically borrowed and structured on the example of industrial practice, the 1Point model will be ready to be tested during the project and then made available to the scientific community, with expected benefits for both vocational training practitioners and young people, and industry.
1Point will carry out its project activities until the deadline of 31st October 2022, constantly fed by the work of a partnership coordinated by the Slovenian industrial association TECOS and represented in Italy by the European Digital Learning Network, based in Milan. Other members of the consortium are Atlantis Engineering (Greece), CETEM (Spain), Hearthands Solutions (Cyprus) and CPI (Slovenia).