The EU Erasmus+ (KA-2) project entitled “Mapping Skills needs and Supply in Dairy Sector” was started on 15.12.2016 and will be finalized on 31.01.2020. This is a project which has been conducted under the management of the Association of European Dairy Industry Learning (AEDIL) that is one of the major networks of EU Dairy Industry Learning.
The aim of the project was on one hand to map the skills needs for the European dairy industry in 14 countries at present and future (next five years) and on the other hand match these with the supply from the dairy educational institutions to identify the gaps between the two. Based on these findings, recommendations to the dairy sector were elaborated.
The research targeted the industry was conducted in three specific areas: dairy skills, digital skills and green skills, in addition, future skills were investigated as open questions that mainly gave answers within the areas of management skills and recruitment.
The most significant need which was identified was recruitment with a percentage near to 80 % by the European dairy industry (small, medium and large dairies). This was followed by dairy skill needs with approximately 75 % as second rank, which is significant as there is a tendency in many countries to turn dairy education into general food education with the possibility of specializing in dairy. Other high-ranking skills in demand from the dairy industry are digital skills, business understanding and food safety skills. All with more than 60 %.
The above findings are so significant across the dairy industry, that it is vital to improve curricula, adapt current levels and opt for better partnerships between the industry and the educational institutions if the European dairy industry is to keep up with international demands and stay competitive.