Global Skills Ledger is working with UK awarding organisation, Occupational Awards Limited (OAL) to support the development of Furniture skills to enable businesses right across Europe to fully participate in the implementation of Industry4.0.  The EU Erasmus funded project IN4WOOD will involve the close collaboration of 13 partner organisations from 5 different countries.

Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution

Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing. Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a “smart factory”. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.

The EU supports the 4th industrial revolution through its industrial policy and through research and infrastructure funding. However, challenges like training workers and future professionals remain. Furthermore the furniture and wood sectors have identified that it has a significant shortage of professionals with high-level qualifications in information and communications technologies (ICT) and other emerging technologies, which are critical for managers and production staff operating in a modern business environment.

ICT skills will be useful for mass manufacturing, production and customised products like:

  • ICT support and management systems
  • E-commerce (online marketing, CMRs tools).
  • Specific ICT solutions to the sector such as – modelling / simulation of products in the design phase and the software required for operating the machines and robots in the production process.
  • 3D printing

IN4WOOD aims to modernise Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the furniture and wood industries by focusing on the ICTs skills needed to increase competitiveness and productivity. This Alliance, composed of VET technology providers, VET authorities and wood and furniture experts will strengthen the knowledge exchange and practice between themselves, deliver impact throughout the labour market and will increase the recognition of qualifications at the EU level.

The main outputs of the IN4WOOD project will be:

  • A deep analysis of the furniture sector regarding the lack of knowledge and skills in Industry 4.0.
  • A complete and agile training path Guide for the development of smart furniture factories of the future
  • Dedicated training materials of the most useful key enabling technologies of Industry 4.0 including more than 300 videos.
  • Guidelines for future workshops and face to face learning modules
  • A mobile based platform with gamification techniques to contain all the materials
  • A joint curriculum for “manufacturers of furniture smart factories

“Global Skills Ledger is very pleased to be able to support OAL and the IN4Wood partners in developing the Quality Assurance and Monitoring & Evaluation processes and procedures for this Erasmus funded project.” Said Jonathan Ledger, CEO of Global Skills Ledger. “Our robust impact measurement approach will ensure that  we achieve the maximum impact from the delivery of skills and knowledge into the furniture and wood industries across Europe.”

Other key IN4Wood project partners include:

CETEM – the research centre that has provided VET education for 22 years in all technical fields and is a major supporting organisation for the workers of companies in the wood and furniture sectarian Spain.

Eurada – the umbrella federation of regional development agencies (RDA) working at European level.

British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) – the trade association that has represented the interests of the British furniture industry for more than 60 years.

Contact us for more information about how Global Skills Ledger can support your skills development needs.