Leather industry, as a global industry, highly dependent on raw materials and export markets access, is now characterised by a quickly changing business environment, which is particularly challenging for SME-dominated sectors as leather and leather related industries are. In order to remain competitive, businesses must be able to adapt to these changes.
Shortage of raw materials, globalisation of production, environmental reasons, and feature changes in leather industry outside EU, have caused a transformation in the European leather production model.
However, Europe remains the leader in fashion, design and quality, as well as in leather science and technological innovation. New technologies, innovative materials as well as the rising demand in emerging markets are bringing new growth opportunities with them. In this framework, qualification requirements must be redefined so as to provide the labour market with skilled professionals able to gain the full potential from the leather industry.
The LEAMAN partnership was established on the basis of combining the different backgrounds and experience of 7 partners coming from 6 different countries: Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and Romania.
The partnership used its expertise in order to produce a set of intellectual outputs able to respond to the above listed challenges:
a) Research report, based on desk and field research, describing the state of the art for leather and related industries,
b) European Qualification Framework (EQF) of the New Manager for Efficient and Innovative leather SMEs, a descriptor of qualifications based on learning outcomes, regardless how or where they were achieved, supported with the ECVET system.
c) MOOC “Being a manager in an Efficient and Innovative Leather Company”; a freely accessible and open licensed training platform dedicated to the improvement of knowledge and skills of managers and potential managers,
d) Virtual Challenge Community; a community consisting of relevant stakeholders active in leather and related sectors, that will serve as a platform for the Innovative Leather Products Competition and that will, at the end of the project, lead to the launch of a crowd-funding campaign for the winners with the most innovative leather products,
e) Decalogue of the 10 benefits deriving from the collaboration between companies, research and training centres in developing innovative leather products.
Target of the project, that will benefit from these intellectual outputs, are VETs, policy-makers, associations and organisations dealing with leather, universities, research centres, companies’ managers of the leather industry and potential ones, managers of the leather connected industries and potential ones, trainers.
The research activity implemented during LEAMAN can be the starting point to realize further research activities in the field. Managers and potential managers will be offered the opportunity to access the MOOC on the platform even after the end of the project and the world of Education, Research and Industry will have the opportunity to be part of a community constituting the ground for developing innovative leather products, new projects and common initiatives.
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