The International Machine Tool Biennial (BIEMH), organised by the Spanish Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers (AFM) and Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC), has organized its 30th edition – from 28 May to 1 June – at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC) in Barakaldo, with the participation of 1,751 exhibitors from 21 countries and approximately 3,000 products and 1,200 machines. Leading companies have participated together at this prestigious fair, which is targeting young people to inform them of the potential of Industry 4.0 and its need to find highly qualified personnel. “Although the machines are the key elements in Industry 4.0, leadership can only be achieved through well-trained and qualified people”, stressed the Basque First Minister (Lehendakari), Iñigo Urkullu, during his visit.

Many young people from all over Spain has visited the WorkInn space, an industrial employment and training forum which has being held for the third time within the framework of the BIEMH and that is offering up to 200 jobs. This event, supported by the Department of Employment and Social Policies and with the direct participation of the Basque Employment Service, Lanbide, seeks to “respond to the new staffing requirements posed by Industry 4.0”.

During the opening ceremony, the Regional Minister of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Government, Beatriz Artolazabal, stressed the importance of “this opportunity, both for companies and for the Public Administrations”. The machine tool sector “is noted for its role as a driving force in the Basque Country”, she said, and added that, in 2017, the advanced manufacturing and digital cluster “already consisted of 480 companies, with a turnover of more than 2,500 million euros and more than 12,000 jobs“.

During her visit to the Lanbide stand, Artolazabal stressed that the Biennial Fair achieved a double effect, it brought together businesses to identify their needs and it also attracted young people to guide their training. In fact, many are requesting information from the Basque Employment Agency regarding specific technical studies after having visited the stands of various businesses in which they received information on which profiles they were seeking. “Contact with the companies and understanding their needs is fundamental to be able to respond adequately to the challenges that this industry has before it. Studies indicate that some companies are encountering difficulties finding the professional profiles related to technology and robotization“, warned Artolazabal.

Talent, stressed the regional minister, is “key to the competitiveness of our economy”. “We have the best-prepared youth in history. Altogether, starting with the girls and boys who have just finished their vocational and university studies, we must ensure that our companies are able to generate attractive jobs that will enable our youth to take root in their land, to embark on the life project they want, and to enable this country to grow sustainably generated maximum well-being for all”, she concluded.

On the other hand, the president of the Spanish Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers (AFM), César Garbalena, highlighted that the digitization of the industry “is opening up a world of opportunities, as well as the need to attract, train, and take good care of the best professionals, because we need people who are committed and well paid”. In addition, he spoke of the need to “promote a cultural change so that women, clearly the most important natural source of industrial workers of the future, can join the industry on a massive scale.”

200 job offers

Institutions and companies, such as Fagor Arrasate, Danobat Group, Fagor Ederlan, Matrici, Dema, SEA-Empresarios Alaveses, Fagor Automation, AIMHE and the Basque University (UPV/EHU) are taking part in the Industrial Employment and Training Forum. In all, together with other entities, they are offering a total of 200 high-quality jobs for a range of worker and student profiles in the fields of automotive components, machine-tools, hand tools, mountings, machining, engineering solutions, construction and steel equipment, among others. Furthermore, the Eures network provided information on international job opportunities.