First training pilot on high-end footwear manufacturing
In early July 2017, a pilot training on highend footwear manufacturing was held in Politecnico Calzaturiero in Padua. It represents a major step for the validation of the new training programme for the new occupational profile in luxury footwear manufacturing that is currently being finalised by an international consortium under the European Erasmus+ funded project High End Shoe, whose overall aim is to increase the luxury and high-end shoe’s segment in Europe. The European Consortium is led by the Portuguese Footwear Technology Centre and includes, in addition to the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry, the Spanish Footwear Technology Centre INESCOP, the Italian Footwear Technology Centre Politecnico Calzaturiero, the French Lycée du Dauphiné, and the Czech Footwear Association. The occupation and training programme is addressed to a wide range of target groups, such as teachers of vocational subjects, designers, modelers, graduates and students of vocational schools as well as young entrepreneurs. This pilot training focused on techniques for producing quality luxury men’s shoes using a Goodyear design and was attended by 14 students from the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The feedback received on this mobility exercise was very positive, indicating that they found the course enriching, useful, and motivating. Their testimonies on social media revealed their enthusiasm and gratefulness for having been part of this unique training, with comments such as “Proud of this… Great experience, amazing people, new friends,” and “It was the best decision of my life. In less than 2 weeks, we covered everything.” Boosting Europe’s luxury and high-end assets and potential is one of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry’s (CEC) main priorities, which it is actively promoting through the HES project. CEC is also working on identifying how to best connect with new generations to attract them to the footwear sector, and this international mobility pilot underlines the benefits for students and workers to participate in cross-border experiences, not only for themselves, but also for the companies they will or are working for as they can bring new knowledge, new practices and a more motivated workforce. The Luxury Footwear Manufacturing Technician profile and corresponding training programme, the project’s main outcomes, will be presented in the project’s final conference at THEMICAM trade fair in Milan on Tuesday 19th September.