The first European Diploma for the plastics industry has been created by the European Plastics Converters (EuPC, Brussels, Belgium) and Federation de la Plasturgie, the plastics industry's association in France.
This responds to the need for a European qualification, as a widely recognized benchmark of skill attainment, felt by all companies in the sector irrespective of size. It is well known that firms are experiencing great difficulty in recruiting skilled staff, particularly qualified production technicians and operators and that they are having to cast their net very wide indeed. The availability of a recognized qualification will give employers the necessary assurance that potential staff has reached an attested level of competence.
Available to both new students and those already working in the industry, the European Diploma is the first and only one of its kind. It originates in a European Leonardo da Vinci project, “Europlastic,” which aimed to give today's technicians all the skills they need to perform at the highest level.
“Europlastic” aims to forge links between the plastics converting sector and relevant vocational training networks and the Diploma can be easily transferred to other manufacturing industries since it embraces knowledge about plastic materials in addition to the particular nature of the job in practice.
The full-time Diploma takes two years to complete. All national plastics federations in Europe can use it to influence their national educational systems and to motivate students to seek a career in the plastics industry in Europe.
The educational program will qualify students to be skilled to work in any European country and is aimed at young graduates At the end of their second year students will have the opportunity enter a four to eight weeks internship in a European company. Alexandre Dangis, managing director of EuPC said, “We develop in Europe good qualifications for realistic people with worthwhile jobs. We are allowing students to acquire a unique knowledge and experience, and reinforce their ability to innovate, exercise their open-mindedness and develop their career mobility.” The final diploma can be used within the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and of the European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).