The border region (Belgium and the Netherlands) contains one of the largest clusters of processing industry in the world. Large companies and their local suppliers and customers are mainly looking for technical profiles. However, the labor market within this sector is struggling with some obstacles. Despite efforts by technical training centers such as STC (NL) and ACTA (VL), there remains an imbalance in the labor market:
- Not enough technical profiles graduate due to 'green picking': young people within technical training programs are hired by companies before they have obtained their degree.
- Moreover, the sector is technology-driven and rapidly evolving: to maintain training courses and installations up to date in order to be able to offer a realistic simulated learning environment comes at a price.
- A third obstacle is that this rapid progress also remains a major challenge for the companies themselven. Next to internal training or (expensive) brand-specific trainings, little exists to train employees
This project wants to optimize the match between labor demand and labor supply and improve the image of technological jobs in the industry. The project wants to appeal to young people from secondary and higher education, as well as 'lifelong learners'. The project offers teaching packages that are easily accessible and give a realistic picture of the industry using the latest evolutions in the industry such as VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and simulation (digital twins). The two project partners involved, Emerson-Rijswijk and AP University of Applied Sciences, are joining forces for this purpose and are explicitly focusing on remote teaching.