“The challenges we now face relate to skills and the work we have done under the last budget with technical colleges [a branch of secondary education in Italy], skill centres, digital innovation hubs and tax credits on education.”
The words of Carlo Calenda, who was Minister of Economic Development under the Letta and Renzi governments and devised the Industry 4.0 and Business 4.0 programmes.
But why invest in Technical Colleges? On average, 85% of those who attend Technical Colleges (a branch of secondary education in Italy) find work within a year of getting their qualifications, at a company that gives them the chance to get to grips with the technologies they would need to set up their own company. Thus, these companies are setting a good example and encouraging self-entrepreneurship. Technical Colleges are indeed schools that teach high technology, strictly within the field of manufacturing. The students are trained and educated to be able to help companies manage and make the most of Business 4.0 solutions.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Calenda – whose national Business 4.0 programme pushed companies towards the 4.0 way of working – is personally involved in helping Competence Centres within certain high-performing universities collaborate with various companies across Italy to establish training courses centred around innovation. Such courses teach production, advanced technologies and applied research skills.
In such a landscape, it is vital for young people to come to understand technology and know how to use it, so they are ready to meet the challenges they will face in the future world of work and tackle them head on. Even more important is knowledge, reading and anything regarding knowledge of culture and the humanities: they are indispensable tools when it comes to getting the most out of technology. The human factor, the humans using the technology, will have to become increasingly sophisticated and more flexible. And in this sense, Italy’s human culture will in some way be very, very important.”