«We are working to improve the attractiveness of industry and make it accessible to new generations, particularly women». With this message, the general manager of the Federación Vizcaína de Empresas del Metal (FVEM) (Biscay Metal Industry Federation), Adolfo Rey wants to encourage young people to join this sector, asserting that «industry is more than machines making parts».
«We want to raise awareness of the current situation; environments that are far removed from traditional industrial practices, with advanced technological levels, a marked international profile, and ideal for developing new professional careers», he said as he described the industrial sector today. For this reason, Industry Day is being held this week; a plan to attract teenagers to this field.
Rey explained that the latest surveys conducted by the federation found that businesses are seeking technical personnel for production departments, qualified workers – and the most sought after are those that have Vocational Training qualifications.
– What worker profile does the industrial sector need?
Mainly for the metal sector. The industrial sector of Bizkaia is defined by its diversity; you can find small factories and large corporations, there are businesses from a variety of sub-sectors, such as metal transformation, the production or assembly of electronic devices, and you can also find companies that cater to local markets and companies that are fully internationalised. Consequently, the profiles needed are very diverse in terms of knowledge and skills. The latest report on economic conditions by the FVEM found that companies are in need of technical staff for production departments (40%) and other skilled operators (31%), and that, in 60% of cases, people with Vocational Training are needed.
– Any particular speciality…
According to the latest report on the use of our Job Website, we found that the three most popular professions were Welders, Technical Draughtsmen, and Quality Control Experts, although we are aware of the increasing demand for job profiles in the fields of engineering, mathematics, chemistry, etc. At the end of the day, profiles that can respond to the needs of an industry that is undergoing a complete digital revolution.
– What field needs most personnel?
The industrial sector needs talent at all levels; you must bear in mind that we are going through a demographic crisis, which implies that many positions need to be covered as there are more people leaving the job market than people joining it. We are seeing an increase in one specific field, which is the demand for advanced technological profiles; people capable of understanding and working with new technologies.
A more attractive sector
– Is the pay better than in other fields of work?
Working conditions with regard to wages and working time are significantly better than the average found in other sectors. We have a deeply-rooted industrial tradition in our territory, which has a major effect on the GDP and the development of our economy. The stability and compensation offered by industrial enterprises are better than in most other fields of the economy in our region.
– What is the current percentage of women working in these companies?
Unfortunately, the percentage of women in the field of industry is still low at around 15.6% according to our latest data. However, we are working to improve the attractiveness of industry and make it accessible to new generations, particularly women. We want to raise awareness of the current situation, environments that are far removed from traditional industrial practices, with advanced technological levels, a marked international profile, and ideal for developing new professional careers.
– Are there any figures on the evolution of the number of young people joining the industrial sector…
At the moment, we do not have data on young people joining the sector. However, we are working to raise awareness of the industrial sector among young people so that they can realise that industry is more than machines making parts. Industry is a field that is going through a critical digital transformation process, it is at the forefront of R&D, it has a very high management level, it is fully globalised… All this means that young people are absolutely necessary to respond to these new challenges.
The Federación Vizcaína de Empresas del Metal (Bizkaia Metal Industry Federation) has organised Industry Day, an event that seeks to raise public awareness among the new generations on the real situation of the sector by providing access to the heart of the companies, so that they can learn about the jobs that exist and the worker profiles that are going to be needed in the future. During this event, they will be able to speak to people who have just joined; young people who are seeking to make a career in the industrial sector.
A visit to Basque companies on Industry Day
More than 600 year-10 students taking technical studies, from 23 schools, enjoyed direct access to 28 leading businesses, such as Gestamp, Ormazabal, Gamesa Energy, ITP-Aero, Vicina, and Sidenor, or Ingeteam. This is the first edition of this type of visit during Industry Day in Bizkaia.
This initiative, which has been promoted by the Federación Vizcaína de Empresas del Metal (FVEM) with the support of the Bizkaia Provincial Council, intends to encourage the generational shift that will take place in the job market in this province.