Title Vocational re-training of ageing technical workers towards the injection moulding industry.
Project Number 2012-LDV-TOI-504
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
As Europe’s population ages and the retirement age continues to be pushed backwards, there is a need for older technical employees to be able to re-orient themselves towards physically less demanding jobs. A changeover to a career in the injection moulding industry could offer such an opportunity, especially since this industry is currently lacking well-trained technical workers. The ReMOULD training is a modular re-training program offering just such an opportunity. Aimed at ageing employees with an existing technical background, the program offers hands-on training for future employees both at the mould making and the injection moulding company. The focus is on doing and understanding, rather than textbook knowledge.
ReMOULD is a practice-oriented training with high levels of interactivity. It takes the trainees away from the classical classroom concept and offers training at the machines, within the own company. As such, the content can be tailored to the company-specific needs.
The ReMOULD package does not contain extensive courses or powerpoints, but a detailed scenario to guide the sector-competent trainer in teaching the different modules, as well as numerous supporting materials like movies, posters, handouts and a trainer manual.
This application is set within the framework of 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing, in which keeping older people in the work force is one of the 3 main topics. As Europe’s population ages and the retirement age continues to be pushed backwards, there is a need for older technical employees to be able to re-orient themselves towards physically less demanding jobs. A changeover to a career in the injection moulding industry could offer such an opportunity.
It is the experience of the project consortium that while courses in injection moulding are quite available at the introductory level (aimed either at secondary school students or as supporting knowledge for engineers), the moulding industry is a demanding party for courses that allow the retraining of older employees to their activities. These employees generally already have a technical background and often experience basic introductory courses as patronizing to their year-long experience. Instead, they are better motivated by acquiring (i) hands-on knowledge about this different technological field and (ii) practical insights in how they can apply their knowledge base to the production environment.
It is our intention to implement a vocational re-education course towards the injection moulding industry for these ageing technical staff (e.g. people with careers in construction, maintenance or production). The course contents will focus on expanding their technical skills towards (i) polymer processing by injection moulding, (ii) mould making and mould maintenance and (iii) advanced injection moulding (hybrid moulds). A complimentary project goal is to establish the foundations for a EU network to further disseminate the results through a larger consortium than the current one.
The project is specifically aimed at EU member states where the injection moulding industry is well-established; the consortium is made up of the engineering departments of two academic institutions who have complimentary expertise regarding injection moulding (polymer processing at HOGENT and mould making at UMARIBOR), two sector-representative organizations with both a feel for the industry's needs and experience in industry-oriented training (FPV and CENTIMFE) and three companies with activities in injection moulding (PEZY) and mould making (MOLIPOREX, KALDERA). The companies will serve as the industrial resonator regarding the training needs and the usefulness of the developed material.
The project should result in (i) course material for the vocational re-training of technical employees towards injection moulding, (ii) implementation of this course at the vocational training-oriented partner institutes and (iii) the submission of a subsequent network project.
Based on a pro-active dissemination strategy, it is expected that the project results will contribute to the continued activation of ageing workers whilst addressing the industry's need for experienced technical staff.