The Problem, need and the solution

The Problem:

The Northwest of the Region of Murcia allocates up to 70% of the footwear companies of the Region, this encompasses 40 SMEs specialised in the manufacture of jute footwear. It has a growing worldwide demand that has driven the internationalisation of these companies that have increased their exports in a 74% in the last 5 years. The jute footwear of the Region of Murcia is recognized worldwide as a distinctive symbol of traditional values combined with high quality. However, these local companies have an important bottleneck: they cannot achieve the production levels with their own personnel to respond to the increasing demand from international markets, so they need urgently the incorporation of qualified personnel to their manufacturing processes that are mainly labour intensive. Currently, some manufacturing tasks (sewing, apparel, design, assembling) are subcontracted to other production areas as Alicante or La Rioja. This fact supposes important economic costs associated to the footwear manufacturing. Other problem for this sector is the necessary generational replacement >1,000 workers in the next 10 years (average age of current workers: 53).

The Need:

Local companies demand the implementation of an apprenticeship according to the skills needs in this sector, that allows the incorporation of qualified workforce to their manufacturing areas. They need training infrastructures and qualified personnel to supervise apprentices, as well as capacity to manage administrative requirements and employment laws. Education and training are crucial for this footwear industry.  The apprenticeship is an opportunity to tackle youth unemployment in this Region. Currently, Region of Murcia has a high level of youth unemployment (>40% for 16-30 age range). Within this context, the implementation of the apprenticeship in footwear industry will be a solid chance for youth to build their future.

The Solution:

AppShoe project aims to develop an apprenticeship for the Jute Footwear Sector of the Northwest of the Region of Murcia. For this purpose a cooperation structure will be established. Partners with different backgrounds & between VET providers and the SMEs are the basis of our project strategy. Cooperation with Politecnico Calzaturiero in Italy, where a vocational grade in Design and Manufacturing of Footwear is well established, will be carried out. It will allow the exchange of practices/models/results among partners and at local level (CALZIA, CETEC, IES Ginés Pérez Chirinos, SEF). A strong VET-business partnership will be established through cooperation among teachers and in-company trainers. As a result, SMEs will provide an important number of apprenticeship vacancies (135 by 2021) and support the EU objective of reducing youth unemployment. Besides, the apprenticeship will facilitate the necessary generational replacement for the footwear companies (535 workers by 2017-2021).

Objectives

The main objective of AppShoe is the creation of an apprenticeship “Footwear & Accessories Technician” adapted to the jute footwear, in order to solve the current lack of young qualified personnel and the necessary generational replacement in the jute footwear SMEs of the Northwest of Region of Murcia. To achieve this, the next objectives should be satisfied:

  • To adapt the Italian model of Politecnico to the new apprenticeship in the Region of Murcia.
  • To develop an active collaboration among all partners (SEF, Business associations, VET providers) for the implementation of the new apprenticeship adapted to the sector needs, developing an adequate curriculo, modules and training.
  • To establish an effective cooperation between VET teachers and in-company trainers to provide a high quality formation.
  • To contribute to cover the footwear industry needs (1,080 qualified workers by 2021) by incorporating 100% of the learners to the labour market in the first 3 years of the new apprenticeship.

VET-BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

AppShoe will implement the apprenticeship through the cooperation at transnational level (Region of Veneto, Italy- Northwest of the Region of Murcia, Spain), allowing the exchange of practices/models/experience among partners and at local level, through the creation of synergies with the active involvement of all partners (contact through eTwinning).

P. Calzaturiero, Italian VET provider, one of the 3 national centers of excellence of Italy. They teach a vocational 2 years grade in Design and Manufacturing of Footwear. They will have an important role in the project because they will provide an important background in training based on the requirements of the footwear companies.

I.E.S. Ginés Pérez Chirinos, Northwest of the Region of Murcia VET provider, has > 40 years of experience in vocational training, and is a reference in the Region. They will manage the design and development of the new training programme and will be in charge of all administrative tasks regarding the new apprenticeship.

CALZIA, will be the interlocutor between SMEs & VET providers to adequate the apprenticeship to the sector needs.

CETEC specialised in footwear technologies will contribute to the apprenticeship development and implementation.

SEF, will be involved in the training programme design, in the authorisation of the pilot implementation, and in the validation of it.

Two employers´organisation (CROEM & UCOMUR) and two workers’ organisation (UGT & ANPE) will be involved as associated partners. They will support key project tasks through their collaboration in the design of the training programme and in the validation of the pilot system.

After the project, a permanent link between all partners will be maintained. The proximity among VET providers & jute footwear companies will allow a continue renovation of contents and methodologies (adapted to SMEs needs). The supply & offer regarding the workforce will be well balanced in this local sector.

Target groups

Learners: 16-30 youngsters. This target group will be reached through the IES Ginés Pérez Chirinos and the Public Employment Service (SEF) of the Region of Murcia.  IES Ginés Pérez Chirinos will engage youngsters at high school through its orientation services and dissemination activities such as its yearly vocational training fair or infodays. SEF will connect unemployment youngsters with SMEs employers, through information, placement and active support services at local level.

Business: Jute Footwear SMEs of the Northwest of the Region of Murcia which need the incorporation of qualified workforce in order to achieve their production goals by themselves.  They are companies with specific needs in their manufacturing areas, because jute footwear manufacturing is mainly labour intensive. This target group will be reached through CALZIA and CETEC, which are Enterprise Associations specialised in footwear that brings the most representative companies of the footwear sector in the Region of Murcia. CALZIA, with 40 associates serves as the voice of the jute footwear SMEs.  Most of these companies have a strong interest in this project development; they claim the implementation of a Jute footwear apprenticeship, because they need qualified workforce. CETEC is an important reference Center for footwear companies of the Region of Murcia. CETEC provide them technical assistance, project management, R&D services, and laboratory analysis & quality control.

Both associations will engage companies during and after the project implementation through the dissemination of information of the new apprenticeship (emails, visits, meetings, infodays, website, and social media).

Expected impact

Our project will close the gap between young unemployment and the attainment of skills useable for the jute footwear local industry. AppShoe project will have important impacts for our target groups:

Impact on Jute Footwear SMEs:

  • To contribute to cover the footwear industry needs of the Northwest of the Region of Murcia. In the following table 1 the estimated needs for the 40 jute footwear SMEs of the Region are shown:

Table 1: SMEs needs

Elaborated by CALZIA and based on data of the 40 jute footwear SMEs of the Region of Northwest of Murcia.

  • To facilitate the generational replacement necessary (>1,000 workers) in the following 10 years. Currently, the average age of the workers in the manufacturing areas of these companies is 53 years old.
  • They will have qualified training programmes to their in-company tutors, raising the quality of the apprenticeship.
  • To attract new young talent to their companies that will be essential to support their growth.
  • To increase their staff experience and overall organisational performance.
  • To save costs regarding personnel recruitment. Apprenticeship will be an effective way in the selection of their new workers because companies know the youngsters during their training in-company.
  • SMEs will obtain discounts (>10%) in the social security taxes that they must pay for the youngsters working under the apprenticeship.

Impact on 16-30 youngsters:

  • To gain the skills and competencies required to obtain an employment.
  • To access to an important and increasing number of vacancies in the footwear companies of their local area.
  • To incorporate 100% of the learners of apprenticeship by 2021 to the labour market through a high quality apprenticeship.  It is expected that 100% will be 135 youngsters as it is shown in the next table 2:

Table 2: Expected learners for the future apprenticeship.

 

Added Value for the Consortium:  AppShoe project will increase the competitiveness of each participant and it is highly aligned with its corporate strategies: CALZIA will boost the growth of their associated companies and consequently their own business growth, CETEC will be able to adapt the learning methodologies to their own courses, IES Ginés Pérez Chirinos will be the first VET Provider in the Region offering an apprenticeship in footwear, P. Calzaturiero will know the best practices in jute footwear with the possibility of adapt them to the needs of their international associated jute footwear manufacturers, SEF will contribute to decrease the young unemployment in the Region and will improve their knowledge about training programmes in the footwear area, CROEM and UCOMUR will increase their proximity to the jute footwear companies of the Region, UGT will increase their proximity to the workers of the jute footwear of the Region and ANPE, as trade union of teachers, will know their role and the training methodologies for the footwear area.

Results Reports

WP1 Adaptation of the Italian model to the new apprenticeship in the Northwest of the Region of Murcia

The objective of this plan is to identify and optimize the channels through which the results of the AppShoe Erasmus + project will be disseminated during the life of the project. These actions will be developed over 24 months and will remain accessible through the planned digital channels.

Diagnosis of training needs to fit the qualification opportunity in this field of action and to understand how the existing lack of related skills and competences can be overcome

Summary of the adaptation plan of the learning model of Politecnico Calzaturiero in Veneto-Italy to the new apprenticeship in the Northwest Region of Murcia-Spain, establishing a common basis and Italian model possibilities for the Spanish one.

Description of the role of each partner in the project according to the inter-regional cooperation strategy, VET provider-companies synergies, and adaptation plan.

WP2 Development of the new apprenticeship in “Footwear and Accessories Technician” specialised in jute footwear

Summary of the curriculo, courses and modules designed, including basic aspects for the new apprenticeship.

Adaptation of learning methods of the Italian model and training design- CVET

Report including the training material, the workshop activities and the experiences in footwear companies for the new apprenticeship based on Politecnico Calzaturiero experience and Jute Footwear SMEs´needs in the Northwest area of the Region of Murcia

Description of the cooperation structure between VET teachers and in-company trainers, including communication tools. Besides, D2.3. will include a description of the tutorial for teachers and in-company trainers aimed to guide to the the teachers and in- company trainers in the way of learning.

Document which illustrates the learner´s achieved professional competences within the specific areas of the apprenticeship.

WP3 Evaluation of the system

Report on the results obtained from each of the phases and evaluation of the implementation of this pilot experience

WP4 Quality Plan

This document contain in detail, the actions, activities and tasks and responsibilities, including the board of key-indicators and criteria to evaluate the quality of the project outcomes and activities according to EQAVET instrument.

This document contain in detail, the actions, activities and tasks and responsibilities, including the board of key-indicators and criteria to evaluate the quality of the project.

WP5 Dissemination and Exploitation

The objective of this plan is to identify and optimize the channels through which the results of the AppShoe Erasmus + project are disseminated during the life of the project. These actions are developed over 24 months.

This document contain the dissemination and communication actions

This document contain the final report dissemination activities.

This documentcontain the explotation plan.