Leather training platform goes on-line4 November 2005
On October 3, Europe's leather research and training centres together with a number of European leather trade associations launched in Naples, at the SSIP, the start of 'One Leather Training', a EU-supported project that will develop, over the next two years, a multi-lingual internet platform capable of delivering professional training and skills development for tannery workers and managers as well as initial training to unemployed people and first job seekers. The project partners are CTIC (Portugal), LGR (Germany), ELKEDE (Greece), UK Leather (former BLC, United Kingdom), PIPS (Poland), AIICA (Spain), SSIP (Italy) and ICPI (Romania). COTANCE and ETUF-TCL, the respective employers and workers organisations at EU level, as well as Scalconsult, a consultancy specialised in innovative training systems, will assist them. The project partners held their kick-off meeting under the chairmanship of Dr Alcino Martinho, director of CTIC and current GERIC President. CTIC, the Portuguese leather research and training centre, is the coordinator of this European leather-training course. This initiative received the approval and financial support of the EU through the Leonardo da Vinci Programme. It is a follow-up project to a successful previous Leonardo pilot project (Self Training Kit for the Leather Industry) developed by almost the same partnership where self-training courses for three professional profiles (Foremen, Sorters & Graders, Salesmen) were elaborated in five languages (EN, DE, PT, GR, PL) on a paper-based and CD-ROM support. This second exercise expands the group to Italy (SSIP), Spain (AIICA) and Romania (ICPI), enlarges the number of languages (IT, ES, RO), adds a new professional profile (Raw Materials Purchase Manager), reviews, up-dates and adapts the existing content so that it allows also unemployed and first job seekers to get acquainted with tanning operations facilitating their eventual insertion, and develops an internet platform where the training courses can be accessed. The partnership will start with a customer satisfaction survey of the previous training tool so as to get feedback from the actual users on how the content can be improved and made user-friendlier. A list of organisations assisting and providing qualification or re-qualification to jobseekers will be drawn up by all partners as potential candidates for intermediating in the supply of the initial training service. The on-line training will become available to Europe's tanneries within two years. It will be freely accessible to COTANCE members' affiliated companies and to Polish and Romanian tanneries. Continuing communication and information to the industry through the project partners will keep the sector's operators informed on the development of the new training tool.