The Dutch Technology Week at Brainport Industries Campus.
For five years in a row, the Brabant economy is growing faster than the national average, the number of unemployed is historically low, and there are more people than ever in employment. This makes it difficult for companies to find competent personnel, especially technically skilled people are hard to find.
During the opening of the Dutch Technology Week at Brainport Industries Campus on 20 May, the focus will be on this. Because what is needed to acquire competent employees? Many technical companies offer retraining courses under the motto of ‘lifelong learning’. At BIC, employees of VDL at Summa College are retrained. But the education itself is also changing. Primary school children increasingly work in projects, and there is more room for pupils’ own interests. At colleges and universities, it is already quite normal for students to work on solutions for companies. Monique de Wit is Project Manager of the DTW and explains why continuing to develop yourself is an important theme during this week. “The speed with which technological developments succeed each other causes our society to change. To solve today’s problems, other skills are needed”, De Wit explains.
Read more about the Dutch Technology Week 2019 here
Educational organisations call these ‘future skills of the 21st century’ and include problem-solving, collaboration and creative thinking. More than two hundred employers and administrators in the region believe that these skills are necessary for an economically healthy future. Last year, they signed the Brainport Talent & Skills agreement, which contains ambitions and arrangements to invest in innovative education, attracting and retaining international students and knowledge workers, and personal development.
Now, a year later, we find the living proof of this on stage at BIC during the DTW’s kick-off. “These young people can’t be stopped; they have the right future skills. They don’t think in terms of problems and are working on major challenges in our society, such as energy transition or mobility,” De Wit says. At the opening, Tessie Hartjes of Lightyear talks about the company’s ambition to produce a car that runs on solar energy. TU/e’s InMotion will also drop by and talk about their project to use an electric racing car to complete the 24 Hours of Le Mans. De Wit: “You can see that education is changing more and more. Students are not just following education but are doing all kinds of projects alongside it so they continue to develop.”
Attention is not only focused on examples from Eindhoven: Forze, a student team from Delft, is working on hydrogen-powered racing cars. They talk about the importance of collaborating with companies and the extra opportunities this offers them. “Society is not only changing in the Brainport region; it is happening everywhere. And solutions are not just being devised here. The DTW is a great way to show that and connect with the rest of the country,” De Wit says.
The Dutch Technology Week is officially opened by ASML top executive Frits van Hout, who underlines the importance of technology promotion and advocates more diversity in the workplace.
The Dutch Technology Week is on from 20 to 25 May. The opening is by invitation only. Other activities or events are open to the public, or you can register in advance. Here you will find the full programme.