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A new flagship project on Additive Manufacturing skills

Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing Project (SAM) will tackle the current European need of developing an effective system to identify and anticipate the right skills for Additive Manufacturing

Technology is evolving at a much faster pace than the development of the workers` skills to use it. Most of the current initiatives and projects that focus on skills shortages are developing skills for existing needs and shortages, meaning that industry is already demanding personnel with those competences. Looking at a bigger picture, it means that there is no strategical approach to skills in Additive Manufacturing and that the current methodology to answer to skills needs is based on reaction instead of prediction and planning. Adding to this, the time between identification of the skills needs and shortages and the capability of deploying qualification/training modules to address them is not aligned with the industry requirements, since in most cases it takes about 1-2 years to create the required professional profile/qualification or competence unit/training module and to have it deployed.

The Wohlers Report 2018 on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing states that the overall additive manufacturing industry grew 21% in 2017 as the industry expanded by more than €1 thousand million. According to Ernst & Young, the demand for AM and related services has increased in the last years and is expected that in 2020 the market volume reaches €10 thousand million.

As Europe seeks to retain its leading position in industrial competitiveness, there is an urgent need to establish a platform for Additive Manufacturing (AM) skills at European, National and Regional levels.

To meet this challenge the project Sector Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing (SAM) started in January 2019. The initiative will tackle the current European need for developing an effective system to identify and anticipate the right skills for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) sector demands in response to the increasing labour market needs, thus, contributing for the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of the AM sector.

 To address the challenges described above the SAM project intends to:

  •  Build a sector skills strategy in AM;
  • Assess and anticipate skills (gaps and shortages) in AM;

  • Support with data the AM European Qualification System and foster wideness of its scope;

  • (Re) design professional profiles according to the industry requirements;

  • Develop specific relevant qualifications to be delivered for the AM Sector;

  • Increase the attractiveness of the sector to young people, whilst promoting gender balance;

  • Strengthen education-research-industry partnerships and encourage creativity “in companies and relevant educational and scientific institutions”;

  • Track students, trainees and job seekers and promote match making between job offer and search.

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Last update: 17/04/2017