In search of leather talent
Without a quick generational change, leather know-how is unfortunately at risk. We discussed this with Alessio Bennardo - Branch Manager of AxL S.p.A. - Agenzia per il Lavoro, which from its Florence branch deals with recruitment and selection of personnel for the entire Fashion supply chain. From the tannery, to leather goods, passing through the production of the metal accessory, AxL's team selects profiles of skilled workers, apprentices and clerks. An activity that is complemented, where necessary, by strategic training for companies and outplacement paths for workers.
What kind of figures are among the most sought-after by companies in the leather sector currently?
There is a high demand for workers of all types; in leather goods, companies come to us to select production workers such as cutters and fleshing as well as prototyping, pattern making and product development staff. Accessories companies, on the other hand, have a strong need for skilled shop and electroplating workers, mechanical engineers, and designers.
How do you look for these figures?
We use Linkedin and job search portals as well as local job posting sites. Over the years, candidates have recognized our presence in the industry, allowing us to enrich the database by actively referring colleagues, friends and acquaintances interested in starting or continuing a career in this field. The role of Employment Agencies has changed, with clients relying on us for strategic placements in production and management, no longer for temporary needs but to find the right professional for their business. After getting to know the structure of the company and the resources within it, we carefully evaluate candidates in their aptitudes and skills before proposing a shortlist. Once the person has been selected, if he or she is to be trained from scratch, we propose ad hoc courses, and later in the company there is a more or less long shadowing course in which the "trade" is taught.
What do you think are the most lacking figures and critical issues in the leather industry?
There is a shortage in the market of qualified figures, people with experience to ensure the quality of the product. This is precisely why we carry out constant training to bring young people closer to the world of leather goods. Through 250-hour courses, we give trainees the opportunity to understand what it means to work in leather goods, allowing them to interface with experienced artisans who are eager to pass on their know-how to young apprentices.
What support would be needed from the government and what measures do you think should be implemented to help the working world?
Resources should be invested on the sector to improve collaboration with schools and universities, vocational education and training institutions. Schools should implement Open Days in the realities of the area, to tell from the inside the richness of the leather world. In my opinion, the distance between a purely theoretical approach and practical preparation, which is unfortunately lacking in our schools, must be reduced. The technological growth of companies in the sector should also be matched by a protection of the craft tradition that has always distinguished and made Made in Italy unique.
AxL Leather is the specialized Division of AxL Spa - Employment Agency that works with the production chain of the Luxury sector.
- Search and Selection of Specialized Profiles
- Temporary Employment Administration
- Staff Leasing: Job Administration on an Indefinite-term basis.
- Specialized Sector Training
- Activation and Monitoring of Extracurricular Internships.