Technological Developments, Perspectives of Employment and New Qualification Needs of the Clothing Industry: A Challenge for the Education World

(6/7/2010 18:00)

The rapidly changing character of the apparel industry has led to a shortage of skilled professional people at the design, technical and managerial level. Movements towards greater automation are taking place and traditional practices are being replaced by alternative ones, by the new technologies and particularly information technology.
Strategic and organizational changes in combination with a drop in production volumes will significantly affect the structure of employment in European clothing companies. The proportion of blue-collar workers will strongly decrease, while single-skilled workers, representing 8% of the workforce in most EU member states, should become multi-skilled. Cutting staff will be decreased and should learn how to work on automated machinery. The proportion of finishing workers will grow. Supervisors and inspectors will gradually decrease in percentage and they will face growing requirements in human management and computer related abilities. The percentage of methods, technical management and product development staff will increase. There will be an increase for designers, who will have to become closer to and more conscious of production processes and constraints. The largest rates of employment growth will concern administrative and managerial positions, especially in the export, human resources and marketing departments.
The clothing education world in Europe will have to support all these evolutions in:
Designing new curricula or adapting existing ones with new skill requirements.
Getting closer to the industry by designing modern forms of industrial placement and by developing appropriate kinds of interaction with firms.
Training multi-skilled workers.
The phenomenon of coexistence of high unemployment with lack of skilled human resources, characteristic point of Greece over the last years, is the outcome of non effective interconnection between education and the business world.
An increasing number o

By: Professor Spyros Vassiliadis
Technological Education Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece

Submit Date: 6/7/2010 18:00

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