FREREF Day 2023, Reggio Emilia, Italy – November 13-14, 2023

With the goal of promoting regional peer learning and address the crucial issue of talent identification and retention, the Forum of European Regions for Research, Education, and Training (FREREF) organized a two-day event, FREREF Day 2023, in Bologna and Reggio Emilia. CIS – Business Management School organized the event and hosted the second day of meeting in Reggio Emilia. In addition to bringing together policymakers, industry leaders, and experts to share insights and strategies for nurturing and retaining talent within their respective territories, the event also delved into the crucial topic of the internationalization of VET providers and Technical HEIs.

On the first day of meeting, Gabriele Marzano, Policy Officer on Employment and Innovation Policies at the Emilia-Romagna Region, presented the new Regional Law n.63 on “Attraction, Retention, and Enhancement of Highly Specialized Talents in Emilia-Romagna” issued on February 14th, 2023. The regional strategy for attracting and retaining highly skilled talents aims to provide widespread support for the development of the regional territorial system through collaboration and partnership agreements with other regions, as well as European and international institutions, networks, and organizations. Within this framework, the region intends to promote incentives for companies that hire young people returning from abroad or interested in working or researching in Emilia-Romagna, customized training paths, specialization and qualification programs through a master’s network in high education structures and schools, welfare service packages (childcare, schools, housing, life-work balance) for young people and their families. Furthermore, Lara Porciatti, Senior Project Manager at ART-ER – Regional Development Agency of the Emilia-Romagna Region discussed the “Skills Intelligence Emilia-Romagna” project.

The second day kicked off with a study visit to the Human and Technology Training Centre (HTTC), a laboratory equipped with advanced technologies designed to develop specialistic skills on digital transformation, owned by CIS. Following that, an organized visit to E80 Group, a pioneer in Industry 4.0, provided a showcase of their automated and integrated intralogistics solutions tailored for manufacturers of consumer goods and their strategy to retain skilled workers and attract new ones worldwide.

In the afternoon, participants gathered at the Reggiane Innovation Park in Reggio Emilia for a series of workshops dedicated to share relevant European project results. The sessions included discussions on “Places of Talents” and “Future Perspectives for Our Territories” in terms of internationalization of the training and education systems. Furthermore, CIS presented the DIGINT project along with its initial outcome: a Benchmarking Tool designed to assist VET providers and Technical HEIs in evaluating their degree of internationalization. Additionally, CIS shared the ongoing work on the Competence Framework, aimed at identifying the key competences necessary to assist teachers, trainers, VET managers, and regional stakeholders in cultivating an international mindset.

The day concluded with the intervention of Lorenzo Ciapetti, Director of Antares – Industrial Policy Research Centre, who provided useful insights into Industry 5.0 in Reggio Emilia and the Emilia Romagna Region in terms of skills, innovation, and complexity.

FREREF Day 2023 highlighted the crucial role of internationalizing VET systems in creating a sustainable workforce. The event emphasized cross-regional collaboration, addressing talent-related challenges and fostering an international mindset. Discussions and projects, such as the DIGINT initiative by CIS, underlined the need for VET providers and Technical HEIs to actively enhance their internationalization efforts. This collective approach aims to prepare teachers, managers, and stakeholders for global competitiveness in the workforce.

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