The EPMA has become a partner of the Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing Project (SAM).
The EPMA has become a partner of the Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing Project (SAM).

The European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) has become a partner of the Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing Project (SAM), an initiative aimed at tackling the current European need to improve additive manufacturing (AM) skills.

‘Technology is evolving at a much faster pace than the development of the workers` skills to use it,’ the EPMA said in a press release. ‘Most of the current initiatives and projects that focus on skills shortages are developing skills for existing needs and shortages, meaning that industry is already demanding personnel with those competences. Looking at a bigger picture, it means that there is no strategical approach to developing skills in AM and that the current methodology to answer to skills needs is based on reaction, instead of prediction and planning.’

The EPMA also suggests that the time between identifying the skills needed and deploying qualification/training modules to address them is not aligned with industry requirements, since in most cases it takes about 1-2 years to create the required qualification.

The SAM) project, which started in January 2019, will focus on:

  • Building a sector skills strategy in AM
  • Assessing and anticipate skills (gaps and shortages) in AM
  • Supporting with data the AM European Qualification System 
  • Designing professional profiles according to the industry requirements
  • Developing specific relevant qualifications to be delivered for the AM sector
  • Increasing the attractiveness of the sector to young people, whilst promoting gender balance
  • Strengthening education-research-industry partnerships and encourage creativity 
  • Tracking students, trainees and job seekers and promote match making between job offer and search.

The 16 project partners will target groups such as the existing workforce, primary schools, vocational education and training and higher education, by putting in place an awareness campaign. SAM has a duration of 48 months and will end on 31 December 2022. 

This story is adapted from material from the EPMA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.