February 6, 2024
Targeting a pipeline of talent for its member businesses, Italy’s Altagamma has embraced the third edition of the Adopt a School project to upgrade the training and manufacturing skills needed by Italian luxury brands.
The initiative is in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Merit, with the agreement renewed in Rome by departmental minister Giuseppe Valditara and Altagamma chairman Matteo Lunelli. The aim is to promote educational cooperation between schools and high-end manufacturing to help meet the needs of the companies that recruit and train manufacturing talents.
"Manufacturing know-how is at the heart of Italian-made excellence and represents a resource that needs to be safeguarded, promoted and handed down to future generations,” Mr. Lunelli said in a statement. “This is a strategic challenge for the entire high-end sector, which is a driving force of the Italian economy, in a global market which grew by 8-10 percent in 2023.
“To capitalize on this opportunity there is a need for new talents, and for years we have been dealing with a shortage of personnel,” he said. “In the coming period, companies are estimated to need 346,000 technical and vocational workers, and only 50 percent of that number will be available.
“With the Adopt a School project, we want to send a strong message to families, encouraging them to take these careers into consideration.
“At the same time, we want to bring schools and businesses closer together, creating a stronger link with the schools involved, and supporting them by drawing on our members’ areas of expertise."
Belaboring the point
According to the Altagamma-Unioncamere study published in the book, “Talenti del Fare 2,” between now and 2026 companies are estimated to need 346,000 technical and vocational resources, compared to 236,000 in 2019.
This shortfall signals both a criticality and the significant growth of the global high-end market, which rose by 8-10 percent in 2023.
There is, therefore, a growing need for manufacturing personnel, and to date only 50 percent of the demand can be fulfilled, per Altagamma.
The labor shortage in luxury breaks down as follows: 108,000 skilled workers will be required in the auto industry, 94,000 in fashion, 62,000 in food, 46,000 in design and furniture, and 36,000 in hospitality.
Official support is not limited to Italy. The Adopt a School project has also obtained the patronage of the European Commission.
For the school year 2023-24, it is part of the activities of the European Year of Skills, promoted by the Commission.
In all, 38 schools in 11 regions of Italy have been adopted, with a total of 120 classes reaching more than 2,500 students over the three years of the program.
The Adopt a School project is supervised by Serge Brunschwig, chairman/CEO of Fendi and board member of Altagamma for the development of human capital and talents, as well as Altagamma Foundation general manager Stefania Lazzaroni.
Nine Altagamma brands have joined the program for the first time this year comprising B&B Italia, Gessi, Hotel Principe Di Savoia, Lefay Resort & Spa Lago Di Garda, Porro, Prada, Santoni, Stone Island and Valentino.
Other brands include Gruppo Florence and Lineapelle, indicating a model that can be applied to a pan-European level.
Additionally, Brioni, Fendi, Gucci, Stellantis and Zegna have chosen to partner with more than one school.
A total of 33 companies are involved in the Altagamma project, with new firms joining those that took part in one or both of the previous editions and are continuing their commitment for the 2023-24 school year.
Included in their ranks are Aurora, Benetti, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Bulgari, Davines, Fendi, Ferragamo, Ferrari Trento, Feudi di San Gregorio, The Gritti Palace, Gucci, Herno, Isaia, Loro Piana, Masseria San Domenico, Moncler, Poltrona Frau, Pomellato, Stellantis, Technogym and Zegna.
The Adopt a School initiative sets out to develop customized, collaborative training programs that bring schools and companies together, with the aim of narrowing the gap between the supply of, and demand for, vocational skills, per Altagamma.
The idea is to structure activities together to bring the school curriculum more in line with the needs of high-end companies.
The activities within the Adopt a School framework extend from the macro-planning of the school year such as defining contents and training methods to micro-planning, which includes tutorship, preparation of teaching materials, company visits, classroom lessons by technicians and experts from companies, laboratory sessions, internships, field projects, supplying materials for the production of goods and teacher training.
Each school-company partnership is then formalized with a specific framework agreement which defines the number and characteristics of the classes involved, contact persons for coordination and tutorship, the specific contents and activities, and the undertakings of the school, the company and the students, according to Altagamma.
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT for this effort is key as Italy seeks to train the next generation of artisans and keep interest alive in local craftsmanship as a career option.
"Since I was appointed, my objective has been to ensure schools provide students with highly quality, specialized education to facilitate their entry into the workforce,” said Giuseppe Valditara, Italian minister for education and merit, in a statement.
“The Adopt a School project is fully in line with that, and represents a valuable resource in the context of the forthcoming reform of vocational schools,” he said. “From September, these schools will be experimenting with a 4+2 syllabus, increasing practical activities, adopting a stronger international outlook and devoting more time to work placements."