The EU-based Erasmus+ project, Skills for Additive Manufacturing (SAM), has released its Skills Strategic Roadmap to 2030, outlining challenges of the AM sector and strategies to overcome these obstacles.
The SAM project’s objective is to define a strategic foundation in the recognition and anticipation of the skills needed to maximise AM’s impact. In this vein, the Roadmap offers guidance for implementing the strategy for skills development until 2030. This outlines the path the SAM is on for the following decade of activity, stressing the fast-paced changes of the sector and how the Skills Strategy will necessarily evolve and adjust to any trends in AM, also taking into account the disruption caused by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Strategy tackles seven challenges in particular: mismatch between the needs of the industry versus the education and training offered; the rapid pace of the tech development; the lack of awareness of AM among younger people; a shortage of training centres, particularly at the vocational and training level; the absence of sector- and process-specific requirements for AM on professional qualifications and the need of more training infrastructure.
The mapped structure allows each strategic initiative and related activities to be implemented in a realistic, measurable manner grounded in the AM Observatory (a SAM group monitoring broad scopes of AM initiatives demanded in the EU) and the deployment of the International AM Qualification System (a SAM-initiated set of qualifications for AM) through a network of accredited training providers with work supported by a strong connection with industrial stakeholders. SAM believes that holistic ties with AM experts will allow its own activities to align well with real-world applications.
The European Additive Manufacturing Skills Strategy and Roadmap has previously been endorsed by industrial cross-sector stakeholders and is now public, open to all organisations wishing to engage or offer support.