One of the pillars of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is additive manufacturing. To ensure that the workforce is ready to embrace the challenge and drive the industry forward, reskilling, retraining, and developing new qualifications are all of paramount importance.
Addressing these new trends and opportunities, the European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting (EWF; Lisbon, Portugal) is developing a modular approach to its qualification system, enabling professionals to pick and choose the most adequate qualifications to achieve the required certification. This allows for further flexibility on the workforce in response to changing industry requirements. A lighthouse project has already been started to align the Welding Qualification System to the European Qualification Framework (EQF).
A fast-changing workforce profile is underway, and companies, universities, training institutions, and governments must work together to address them by aligning formal and informal qualifications. This adds flexibility to the curriculums, allowing—and embracing—lifelong learning in all its dimensions. EWF and its members want to be at the forefront of that change, ensuring that the industry has the most qualified professionals to meet its challenges.
To guarantee that the future workforce is prepared for the challenges of Industry 4.0 and, specifically, of additive manufacturing, there is a need to facilitate retraining and reskilling; to ensure transferability between traditional education systems and technical education; to integrate modularity on the qualifications systems; and, lastly, to align industry’s qualification systems with the European Qualifications framework, allowing for a more qualified and mobile workforce within the EU.
EWF is a pioneer in implementing a harmonized qualification and certification system for joining professionals. Through European projects, EWF has been innovating in training methodologies and involved in the development of new technologies and uses for joining. Through its member organizations, EWF has established a firm link to the local industry, providing knowledge and training as well as participating in research initiatives that address the most pressing questions and challenges in the field of joining technologies.
For more information, please visit www.ewf.be.