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SKY4.0 TAKES-OFF ONLINE

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“A new revolution is underway in the industrial world supported by equipment connectivity, technology and data. It will have an impact on each and every company department, changing completely the layout where they develop their activities. Industry 4.0 will result in an optimization of the industrial processes, reducing, therefore, costs and busting productivity gains.”

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Resources in place for the first pilot testing!

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“The Sky4.0 project took a huge leap and passed from theory to action! “

During February, an internationally coordinated effort resulted in the implementation of 3 Multiplier events where the detailed resources for the new soft skills in the aerospace industry were presented. In these dynamic events, more than 20 participants in each got introduced to the innovative training material of Sky4.0, which combines theory with active exercises. All the events held a presentation of the Sky4.0 project to the participants and then specialized their focus to a specific soft skill in each country:

POLAND: cognitive flexibility

Introduction: We have the possibility and natural tendency to look at one single thing from an infinite number of angles. There is for example a possibility to look at one group of individuals from different perspectives as for example: physical traits (male/female, age, hair colour etc.) emotional characteristics (calm, open etc), geographical (place of birth, place of living etc.). Such human abilities are at the roots of the concept of cognitive flexibility. Thanks to this we can to look at one single thing from an infinite number of angles and to create an infinite number of methods to solve a problem…

The pilot training for current aviation industry workers took place in Jasionka (near Rzeszów) in the Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park on the 25th of Fabruary 2020. It was organized by Aviation Valley and INNpuls and gathered 26 HR managers and HR department employees, diverse aviation industry workers (production, supply and others) from 12 aviation companies (large companies and SMEs sector).

SOFT SKILLS 4.0 Information & Training Set for current workers was discussed and the interesting case study on the impact of soft skills on company decision making was presented. The participants were involved in group discussions and engaged in working out possible solutions for the company to implement. The discussed problems were related to the impact on making the right decisions that will be key to the company’s business areas: taking initiative, adaptation to changes, critical thinking, analytical thinking, cognitive curiosity, cognitive flexibility.

After the discussion the participants were asked to fill in the questionnaires in which they were asked to choose two out of six soft skills areas that would be of the greatest importance for the aerospace industry workforce. Besides making the choice, they were also asked to give their written opinion why the choosen skills would be important for the companies they represent.

We were given back 20 questionnaires and what’s important, all of the questionnaires included not only the choice of the most important soft skills but also an abundant number of written remarques justifying the choice of chosen skill areas. Here is the number of notes that were attached to the following skills.

Soft skill Number of notes
Initiative 9
Analytical Thinking 8
Cognitive Flexibility 8
Intellectual Curiosity 6
Change Adaptability 5
Critical Thinking 4

Scrutinizing the questionnaires we can conclude that all of 6 skills are in the scope of interest of the representatives of the aerospace industry whereas such skills as Initiative, Analytical Thinking and Cognitive Flexibility are highly ranked in their importance to the development of workforce skills. Reading the content of the questionnaires we can draw a general conclusion that the kind of training proposed be the SKY 4.0 project enhances people’s motivation, which has impact on the effectiveness of work and value of the employee to the company. The participants emphasized also the need for such kind of trainings in order to keep pace to the competition and to abrupt changes in business environment. On the other hand, in some questionnaires, we see the need to use analytical and critical thinking, while introducing change, due to the characteristics of the aerospace industry i.e. the need to cope with the risk.

To summarize, the reaction of the participants on the areas and content of the the proposed soft skills training was more than welcomed.

SPAIN: initiative

Introduction: From thought to action, idea to word, this is how we define initiative: if we act, we create and therefore initiative is a necessary competence to generate ideas, solutions. On average both men and women watch TV three hours a day according to the National Institute of Statistics. The remaining 21 hours are for work, sleeping and tasks such as personal hygiene, eating or going to the bathroom. Finally, there’s a bit of time left to do whatever we want to do. This shows that most of our leisure time is more passive than active, more reactive than proactive. So television, the greatest enemy of active leisure, deprives us of great many things. One of them is going out. Out anywhere, but out of the house. Locking yourself at home to think is highly recommendable, but on the other hand, the unexpected will never enter your life, we have to go looking for it, all in all, we have to take initiative…

The national event was organised on the 17.02.2020 by IMH:

TURKEY: critical thinking

Introduction: Critical thinking skills are the core of most professional and technical jobs regardless of the field. Being aware what is an argument and distinguishing argument of other things helps saving time at work as well as finding best solution to issues. Today´s employers expect technicians entering the 3 workplace to have “soft skills”; These include the ability to analyze a problem logically and formulate a solution, to make critical thinking. For example, in an aerospace manufacturing facility, if there is a production related problem, technician has to be able to understand what is the problem, do the reasoning, develop an accurate statement and inform his supervisors with right context. Therefore supervisors can use these set of information (reasons) to solve the problems by critically thinking…

The national event was organised on the 25.02.2020 by ACA, in İzmir with 17 participants. It was a very successful event, companies’ representatives learned more about the Project and also gave useful feedback to improve the materials.”

PORTUGAL: intellectual curiosity

The national event has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, we will soon come back with news after the end of the restrictions…

A gap ready to be bridged: Soft skills in industry4.0

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“A new revolution is underway in the industrial world supported by equipment connectivity, technology and data. It will have an impact on each and every company department, changing completely the layout where they develop their activities. Industry 4.0 will result in an optimization of the industrial processes, reducing, therefore, costs and busting productivity gains.”

The availability and costs of technology are making this transformation possible, and the change will be rapid & disruptive, changing the rules of the game in a short period of time. Those who cannot adapt themselves to these fast changes are set to fail in this future context. Workers in every hierarchical level, including entrepreneurs, need to develop broader relational and technical skills to participate in the development of the entire company. The human aspect is the greatest challenge of this transformation.

The aerospace industry is a very sensitive sector to this revolution. It is needed to assure that companies that operates inside this wide market adapt their workers to the upcoming changes that come with the 4.0 revolution.

The Sky4.0 project aims to this very issue, focusing on one of its major problems: education and training of the aerospace industry workers; more precisely, education and training on soft skills. The SKY 4.0 will develop tools to establish the necessary soft skills, thus, adapt the aerospace industry workers to the new industrial revolution through their education.

This will be done through the following pillars:

  1. Aiming the developing of soft skills to key groups inside the Aerospace sector: i) Companies and their workers; ii)Trainers and VET providers; iii)Secondary education students and technical colleges; iv)Human resources teams and team managers
  2. Applying the knowledge acquired in the first pillar to develop training resources to be applied inside companies.
  3. Taking the data from the first two steps to improve training materials on soft skills for technical courses students, VET and aerospace companies’ workers.

This document belonging to the first pillar of the SKY4.0 project, establishes a set of soft skills, and consults it with companies from the aeronautical sector. Thus, once the set of soft skills was established and verified, the development of training materials began.

The gathering of information for this document has been conducted through three main methods. A desk research, an online survey and several meetings that were held in the partner countries reaching out to all the related stakeholders.

Looking back, looking up with Sky 4.0!

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“With our hands on the educational materials for current aviation workers – we look back to the last year Sky4.0 events when we met with the future generation of industry passionate employees!”

After the 2nd Partnership Meeting and the Sky4.0 Conference on the soft skills for aviation we started working on the educational materials for current employees in Industry 4.0 in aviation sector. The new trainning programme will help to develop necessary soft skills. Keep in touch and find out more about the combination of interpersonal skills, personality characteristics and emotional intelligence and their relevance in Aviation 4.0 in coming 2 months!

2nd project meeting in Poland: Hands-on for the creation of the educational resources!

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“As Industry 4.0 is changing the future of the aeronautical companies, Sky4.0 partnership is working extensively to support it!”

In this transition towards the 4th industrial revolution, the human capital should not be overlooked in the face of technology, but instead reinforced with a resourceful set of soft skills that will enable its optimization – favoring creativity, innovation and the success in a dynamically changing technological work environment.

In view of the above notions, the Sky4.0 partnership met on the 18th of September in Rzeszów, Poland, for the 2nd Transnational Project Meeting and the first multiplier event of the project.

The day started with interactive presentations where the project was presented and the idea of the soft skills training was unfolded to the spectators, together with the aims, objectives and promised results of the future, and an open discussion facilitated.

After the successful event, the project meeting took place and partners tentatively reviewed the desk research that was concluded, and worked to define the very first structures of the educational material that will be developed in the next months. The current focus is for current workers in the aeronautical and aerospace industry who will be supported by detailed didactic units, trainers books and workbooks and extensive material to support sessions implementation.

Finally, partners had the chance to attend the event days of another Erasmus+ program, the Learn&Fly, where young students competed in the development of gliders and learned science through the process! The youth´s enthusiasm to learn about the aeronautical industry is a boost for Sky4.0 which in the next period will address students directly by producing another set of educational material for this future workforce!

Partners 1st meeting in Portugal

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On 11th and 12th of February 2019, the Sky4.0 consortium gathered for the first time in Portugal, Matosinhos, in a strategic kickoff meeting that brought on the “chessboard” partners from 4 countries (Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey) with the aspiring aim of shaping the future for the human capital of aeronautics in view of the Industry 4.0 revolution.

Sky4.0, as an ambitious and highly promising intervention, will build curricula and training modules around three specific sets of soft skills development, namely Social Competencies, Character-Building Skills and Personal Development Skills, which should provide a base to make relevant positive choices and decisions leading to level-headedness and wholeheartedness workers. Fully committed to this aim, partners delegated the responsibilities for the coming period of time and reinforced the roadmap by defining qualitative points of delivery of material that will be available to all interested stakeholders.

Under the guidance of the coordinating organization Aviation Valley, the Sky4.0 consortium will intensely work and materialize the three designed Intellectual Outputs:

 

O1. Selection of most valuable literature, reports and best practices on the transformation towards Industry 4.0 of the aerospace sector and preparing information set for current workers

The aim of this O1 is to deepen the knowledge about the soft skills required for the industry 4.0 implementation and its role in building competitiveness in companies mainly in the aviation sector. The development of this intellectual output includes a set of activities aiming at development and evaluation of information&training packages on identified soft skills crucial for Industry 4.0 implementation in partnering countries. The results developed in this O1 will be suited for the needs of the current aviation industry workers.

 

O2. Training materials and CV about Industry 4.0 Soft Skills for future workers of the aerospace sector

This Intellectual Output address one of the Sky 4.0 training activities target groups: young students of secondary technical schools and universities, which could become future workers in aeronautical industry 4.0 companies. It materialises the project aims to bring closer the concept and demands of Industry 4.0 to the students community, so this could increase future employability of these young people by promoting the acquisition of skills and competences that students of technical job might need in their future employment at industry 4.0 companies.

 

O3. Guidelines for implementation and usage the information materials, training curricula and training materials of Industry 4.0. Soft Skills in the aerospace sector

Taking in consideration the preliminary results of O1 and O2, guidelines and other materials will be built to support the implementation of the modules. As in O1 and O2, where a trainees’ manual (Text&Work Book) will be produced to join all the data and activities, in IO3 will be created a Trainer´s manual to support the implementation of training actions To better address the identified Industry’s needs and to assure sustainability of the project results, the Partners will develop clear and comprehensive WHITE PAPER addressing key issues for the implementation of the Industry 4.0 Concept implementation at aeronautical companies. To help in the present implementation of the Industry 4.0 this IO organise also a “training the HR trainers and managers” blended activity that will take place during M28 at Poland.

Soft skills on the focus – Why the empowerment of Human capital is gaining ground within Industry 4.0

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The complexity and exigence of the aerospace industry make it a perfect target for the Industry 4.0 technologies. The digitalization and interconnection of the means involved in manufacture and production makes a fattest, safest and cheapest way of production possible.

Companies are taking the chance to tighten global supply chains, drawing suppliers into the network and using new technologies to link them through a wide range of data-processing based technologies. Products based upon data and data-analytics are been used to explore new business models inside the industry than can improve revenues and ways of production.

The framework for the digital transformation of the aerospace industry stretches from cloud computing and mobile technology; to the use of augmented reality, big data analytics, smart sensors, location detection technologies and advanced human/machine interface. All of them, technologies based upon the principles of the Industry 4.0 revolution.

The nature of these new technologies will place higher demands on all members of the workforce in terms of managing complexity, abstraction thinking and problem-solving. Employees will have to act more independently and possess better communication skills and ways of organizing their own work. The soft skills, those related to the human character and interpersonal relationships, will have a more prominent role inside the aeronautical production chain.

Soft skills, such as initiative, critical thinking or intellectual curiosity, will require from an adequate training and supervision that will ensure that every piece involved in the production chain know how to use and apply those soft skills. Thus, new personal competences and qualifications will be needed.

In order to solve this educational problem, new training modules focused on soft skills and social competencies will be required. The lack of these preparation may lead to fatal human errors and financial losses that can be avoidable.

In Sky4.0 we recognise as basilar stones, 7 key softs skills:

-Cognitive Flexibility
-Intellectual Curiosity
-Analytical Thinking
-Critical Thinking
-Change Adaptability
-Initiative
-Effective Communication in Digital Environment

Sky4.0 – a new idea born, an experienced consortium to support it!

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The new Industrial revolution is now the reality in all sectors of the European Industry (Industry 4.0). This revolution is more visible in lead sectors as the Aerospace sector which is now implementing the most advanced technological systems developed to answer the new industry challenges. Therefore, there is the need to develop a number of skills in the workers from the Aeronautic sector, namely in Maintenance and Manufacturing. These skills are actually not technical, but soft skills instead. The ability to make the best decision in a mind-balanced state could be the difference between an uneventful operation and human errors that may lead to fatal consequences. Thus, the importance of workers’ soft skills to keep up with the technology development remains a challenge.

The present project aim is to build curricula and training modules around soft skills required by Industry 4.0 implementation, namely Social competence and Personal Development skills. To do that, Sky 4.0 project will focus on three main strategic priorities:

  1. Development and improvement of relevant and high quality skills and competences by supporting the different project target groups in acquiring and developing KEY SOFT SKILLS, in order to foster employability, socio-educational and professional development. These key target groups are:a) Aeronautical companies and their workers; b) Trainers and VET providers; c) Young students of secondary and technical schools in the aeronautical sector; d) Human resource and team managers in aeronautical companies.
  2. Implementing innovative practices and developing partnerships aimed at promoting work-based learning in all its forms, within the project new training materials will be elaborated, both for current and future aviation sector workers, including Joint VET qualifications. The idea is to apply knowledge in practical training materials, based on real life and workplace situations, and embedding international experience (mobility).
  3. Further strengthen key competences in VET, including common methodologies for introducing those competences in curricula, as well as for acquiring, delivering and assessing the learning outcomes of those curricula.

In these ways, companies will be able to build a strong and effective skill-set through personal development and character-building skills, and these will contribute to make relevant and positive choices and decisions and to have not only the best technicians but also level-headedness and wholeheartedness workers.
At last, the improvement of employees’ skills in the Aeronautical Industry, will contribute to develop human resources well prepared to respond the Industry 4.0 challenges.