Brussels – The European tire and rubber manufacturing sector is facing an increasing challenge in maintaining the skills base it needs to ensure the competitiveness of the industry, according to Christian Koetz, president of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA).
Opening an ETRMA workshop, titled “Innovative Educations Tools”, Koetz said:"With €73 B of turnover and employing 350,000 people across more than 7800 companies around Europe and investing up to 5 percent in R&D, the industry is facing a two-fold challenge: an aging workforce and a difficulty in attracting young talents.”
Whilst many of the brands in the rubber industry are well-known, the industry remained an "underestimated giant" and somewhat "un-cool" for the new generations, he added at the event in Brussels on 6 Oct.
Koetz went on to say that as students are less and less attracted by STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, a real "war for talents" was taking place with the rubber industry not always coming out on top because of this perception.
Also speaking at the event, Peter Baur from the European Commission stressed the importance of having the industry and academia working together constructively to improve the rubber industry’s skills base across Europe.
ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp concluded the workshop by calling for further investment in making the industry better known and more interesting for the "Y Generation".
She stressed that there was "indeed a need for further cooperation between training providers and the industry and for support from public authorities to multiply the effects of the industry's initiatives"