The first Italian professional education program devoted to the future professionals of the leather industry began in 2017. The vo-tech high school Galileo (located in Arzignano, Vicenza) launched a two-year course meant to train young aspiring Green Leather Managers.
Since Italy is one of the leading countries as far as tanning is concerned, one of the main aim of the course is to train professionals which will be able to match productivity with sustainability. Future managers will be required to have an in-depth knowledge and a solid understanding of production and processing, as well as new hybrid skills concerning transparency and sustainability.
In order to become Green Leather Managers, the students who registered for the course are required to attend a two thousand hour training which includes 800 hours of practical, hands-on classes. They will also have the opportunity to attend workshops directly in selected leather companies. Two-thirds of the teaching staff come from the world of work, and they have specific professional experiences and backgrounds related to tanning and leather processing.
The course has been promoted by Fondazione ITS Cosmo, which boasts a partnership with SSIP, the experimental station for the leather industry. The Fashion and Shoes branch of the foundation aims to train a new generation of Green Leather Managers that will be able to study and research materials science in order to develop new methods and processes and lead the leather industry towards innovation and sustainability.
The first Green Leather Managers will complete their course in 2019, and they will be awarded with a diploma recognized and accepted internationally (5th level of the EQF – European Qualifications Framework). By that time, the young professionals will be expected to be able to plan and manage the latest production processes and know how to work on the heels of international legislation and quality standards.
The mix of public education and support by private companies is expected to offer a complete training covering both theoretical knowledge (e.g. chemistry, economics, law) and practical skills demanded by the leather industry. These young, aspiring Green Leather Managers could be crucial to continue to ensure the competitiveness and innovation capacity the Italian leather products clusters are known for – and we wish them good luck!