Do you want to work in the jewelry world? Come on, there’s room. Especially for young people who want to learn the ancient art of working with gold, setting gems and designing. The invitation comes from the Italian sector associations: companies are looking for new professional resources.
According to Confindustria Federorafi, the Italian Exhibition Group (the company that organizes Vicenzaoro), which involved the site Skuola.net, the figures are unequivocal: Italian exports in November 2022 came close to 9 billion euros (8.98 million euros) with an increase of 22.1% over the same period of 2021 and 40.6% over 2019, pre-covid. The data, the companies point out, is of great importance for a sector that exports 89.5% of its turnover.
And forecasts are also brilliant (the right adjective): sector turnover forecasts for 2022 indicate an absolute record of 10.9 billion euros, despite a slowdown in recent months. The export of Italian jewelery is mainly directed to the USA (+13.9%), Switzerland (+20.9%) and the Emirates (+20.9%), while the covid restrictions have only slowed down Hong Kongs (-0.5%). The economic surveys on a sample of companies also indicate a positive sentiment for the first half of 2023, both for turnover and for employees: 36% of the companies interviewed believe they will hire other employees. The Italian world of jewelery involves 30,619 people (58% women).
In short, great satisfaction. But up to a certain point, because the more than 7,100 Italian companies in the sector cannot find specialized personnel. Worse still, over half of the employed will be of retirement age in less than ten years and only 13% of the employed are under the age of 30. The thriving goldsmith business is little perceived by young people, it has no appeal. Yet there is no shortage of specialized schools: there are almost 40 institutes providing training, but the number of graduate students is still insufficient compared to the demand from companies, which are looking for around 3,000 people to hire overall.
Our school system has one tenth of technical graduates compared to Germany. A training and information effort by school principals, teachers and counselors is needed, starting from secondary school, to acquire all the elements and all the useful information to be transferred to the students, making the most of the many opportunities in professional and salary terms that the sector also of the precious it can offer. At the same time, the business system must be more open and communicate better.
Claudia Piaserico, President of Confindustria Federorafi
Here, exactly. Because if the world of jewelery attracts little, it is also because it often communicates a dusty image. Old. Obsolete. Not all companies, please. The big brands, the companies that compete on foreign markets with the finished product, not with the semi-finished products, have a different way of approaching the world of work. But of the 7,100 companies mentioned, those of international level are no more than a hundred, perhaps much much less. Just look at the gallery of horrors of dated, old, out-of-date corporate websites. Can anyone who sells a refined product afford to offer a website that has been stopped for years as a business card? Who doesn’t explain, doesn’t introduce himself, doesn’t offer any point of interest for a young person? And we are also talking about companies that produce fine jewelry. But who wants to go to work in a company that has no interest in informing about its business? Not to mention the many micro-companies that don’t have a website either.
We also want to talk about what these companies offer to a young person? And not just from a salary point of view. If working in a goldsmith industry means facing a repetitive, unstimulating task, then the choice depends only on the salary. A young man will go where he earns the most. Point. How many jewelery companies also present themselves with prospects for professional growth, creativity, with a stimulating environment?
In any case, the goldsmith industries are looking for young people to hire. For this reason, Federorafi has created for the first time a mapping of schools and institutes with goldsmith courses. Not only that, the association has also defined the most sought-after professional profiles such as goldsmith, cashier, engraver, gemologist, cleaner, 3D printing expert, numerical control machine expert, designer, digital media specialist and organized the first Orientation day during Vicenzaoro and will also activate a platform to facilitate the matching between supply and demand. Furthermore, Federorafi, in collaboration with Vicenzaoro, has launched a partnership with Skuola.net to open a channel with students. Excellent initiative. But, at the same time, Federorafi could also do some training for its associates.