Vocational training in metal sector

Vocational  training in metal sector

Mechanical, Metallica and Metallurgical Engineering are the three emes of the sector 3M, that has to face new challenges, and to do so, needs quality qualification and continuous training for its workers

In the framework of 3MVET project, Itainnova participates in the development and validates the quality of new training materials and didactic guides for this sector.

Intensifying the training of workers is essential to avoid losing competitiveness and achieve the desired European reindustrialization. A scenario in which the metalworking industry is key, since all sectors of the economy use this industry products; technologies, equipment and systems.

From Itainnova, Elena Pallarés and Rosana Montón explain that "companies - not only large business groups but also small companies - must continue to embark on new markets, invest in technology, machinery, management and design, qualifying workers, reaching the highest standards of quality, environmental management and occupational health.

That is why Itainnova is involved in 3MVET (Vocational Education and Training) project, funded by the Erasmus + Program. The project will offer various training materials for the mechanical engineering, metal and metallurgy sector (3M), addressed to vocational training teachers, tutors in 3M sector companies which offer workplace practices, and VET students seeking a qualification, as well as active workers in this sector.

Pallarés explains that «Vocational Training plays an important role”, because it is a necessary element for workers to be trained and permanentely updated, so that they can, within their companies, have the responsibility for quality, improvement of processess production, as well as, control and monitoring of several machines and the decision-making.

In general, Montón specifies, "there is an interest in the sector,  for training in production and marketing, new technologies and organizational aspects of management and administration". The branch of Metal Fabrication for Construction is the one that shows the greatest interest in the training of its workers in new technologies.

Currently,  they are developing early versions of digital and interactive materials -in all languages of the partnership project: English, Bulgarian, Turkish, German and Spanish and teacher and mentor guides. Expert groups  will test and validate these early versions, which will be tested in a pilot project that will take place in Stuggart (Germany), before giving way to the preparation of the final versions.

The learning outcomes will be reflected in a transnational Recognition Matrix of knowledge, skills and competences acquired through the project.

What is an engineer in the metal sector?

The work of an engineer is often  unknown, which harms the birth of new professionals. What are the professions of mechanical engineer and metallurgical engineer? This is explained by Itainnova.

The mechanical engineer is qualified to:

  • Design and install mechanical or thermal equipment; Select their components, specify materials, costs and duration of execution.
  • Plan and direct machinery manufacturing and maintenance operations; Evaluate and optimize energy conversion processes.
  • Identify and solve problems related to machines and processes of transformation and uses of heat and energy, through research, management or technological innovation.
  • Participate in the planning and execution of projects or research related to thermal or mechanical systems.
  • Develop mathematical and computational models to facilitate the application of the engineering criteria in the optimization of the equipment or processes that are designing, selecting or installing.

On the other hand, the metallurgical engineer is the professional who, based on his knowledge and skills, is responsible for establishing, operating, optimizing, controlling and managing the processes of concentration and extraction of minerals and metals from their ores, its purification and the elaboration of objects useful to society.

Other functions are:

  • Improve, implement, operate and evaluate industrial processes of extractive metallurgy.
  • Identify, select, implement, evaluate and operate metallurgical, electrochemical and heat treatment processes.
  • Distinguish, compare, analyze, evaluate, implement and operate plastic forming processes of metallic materials.
  • Identify, analyze, evaluate and prevent metal element failures.

ITAINNOVA – INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO ARAGON, Spain