World Footwear


Open your Mind

Nov 5, 2019 European Union

Open Your Mind

This is the name of a new project launched at European level with an aim to attract young talents to the Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (TCLF) industries

The campaign Open Your Mind, promoted by the European Commission, through EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and DG GROW (Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), wants to attract young people to study and work in the TCLF enterprises in Europe.

The international campaign will be focusing on young people in six European countries, with an aim to attract new generations towards the career possibilities offered by the TCLF sector.

Background for Open your Mind

The campaign developed within the project Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills aims to show opportunities in the TCLF sectors and present them as real options for those looking to build a career within the European industries. The ultimate goal is to put these sectors on people's radar, mainly youngsters, and ensure they will look for jobs without prejudice considering the opportunities available within the TCLF industries.

The textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries are sectors with great tradition and weight inside Europe, but face difficulties in attracting young people and new workers, as they seem not to have strong appeal to people on age ranges from 14 to 30 years. To change the perception of youngsters about the TCLF sectors is important to capture new talents and to ensure the companies are able to reinforce and renew their workforce. This is particularly important to capture new skills and consolidate existing ones within the companies.

Several activities are planned as part of the campaign, such as visits, meet-ups and Open Days to be organized in schools, training centres, companies and associations within the respective sectors. During such activities, experts will share experiences about career opportunities.

Why work on TCLF?

The industries of textile, clothing, leather and footwear are strategic in Europe, representing an annual business volume of 200 billion euros and employing 2.2 million people in roughly 225 thousand companies. In countries like Portugal, Italy, Spain, Romania and Poland, those industries have a significant weight on exports. To youngsters, a career in these fields can be appealing not only for all the creativity involved but also for the possibility of contributing to a more sustainable way of manufacturing and distributing products and thus contributing to a better planet, by creating innovative solutions. The campaign aims to show that digital technologies and the technological development in R&D, production, promotion and marketing of clothing and footwear products have created new professional profiles whose characteristics are far away from the common image many have of manufacturing jobs. In fact, industrial companies in general, and TCLF, in particular, need workers with high degree of specialization in areas covering robotics and automation, digitalisation and new materials and modern and sustainable industries.

Image credits: Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash