Focus on vocational education and training
The programme of events of the world exhibition of agricultural machinery will include initiatives for strengthening educational plans and defining new professional profiles for the sector. EIMA Campus, Club of Bologna and FederUnacoma Workshops are the rendez-vous on this topic that are already on the calendar
Technological innovation will be the protagonist at EIMA 2021, the international exhibition of agricultural machinery which will be held at the Bologna exhibition centre from 19 to 23 October. The topic of education and training for technicians in the sector will also be in the foreground. After the long pause due to the health emergency, during which the major events dedicated to agricultural machinery were suspended, the Bologna exhibition - the first appointment after the freeze on activities and the only international event scheduled for the year - will be the showcase for new models, prototypes and unprecedented solutions created by the attending manufacturers (1,450 from 47 countries).
The ability to manage new technologies is a strategic factor - emphasises FederUnacoma, the Italian manufacturers' association that is the direct organiser of EIMA - and this is why the 2021 edition will include specific initiatives to focus on the skills and professional profiles required today in the field of agricultural machinery.
The programme of EIMA Campus - the section of the exhibition organised in collaboration with the Italian Agricultural Engineering Association AIIA, with the participation of 10 universities - has already developed a calendar of lectures and seminars on emerging themes, such as eco-sustainable cultivation techniques and the most advanced digital applications for controlling cultivation operations and managing tthe growing mass of technical, economic and environmental data provided by survey systems and electronic networks.
The idea behind EIMA Campus is to offer university students during EIMA an immersive experience in the world of agricultural machinery, creating a didactic laboratory useful precisely with a view to supplementing curricula with topical agro-mechanical subjects. The FederUnacoma General Meeting held on 19 July was attended by the new Rector of the University of Bologna, Giovanni Molari, who stressed that creating a new generation of operators and experts is a matter of absolute urgency. The know-how currently found on farms is not keeping pace with the technological solutions produced by industry, which are marching at an impressive pace and are already affecting the field of robotics and artificial intelligence.
“Training is also a political issue - explained FederUnacoma president Alessandro Malavolti - because it is functional to achieving the objectives of sustainability, ecological transition and digital transition that underlie the new CAP and Next Generation EU.”
“The debate launched at the general meeting - adds Malavolti - will be taken up again at EIMA with a Workshop for discussion between the political world and the university and education system. It is scheduled for the morning of Friday, 21 October, and is useful more than ever at a time when the National Recovery and Resilience Plan includes funding for training activities".
An authoritative contribution towards identifying specific strategies for strengthening technical staff will also come from the sessions of the Club of Bologna, the world association of teachers and experts in agricultural machinery, which will take place on October 22 and 23 as part of EIMA and which will offer an opportunity to identify the training needs associated with the use of increasingly innovative machinery and equipment.