TCLF Pact for Skills: putting people at the heart of the industry’s competitiveness

Original content posted by: COTANCE.

118 organisations have signed the Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (TCLF) Pact for Skills, an initiative promoted by the European Commission and promoted by EURATEX, COTANCE and CEC, the umbrella organisations of these industries in Europe. The signatories acknowledge the skills challenge in the textiles-leather ecosystem, and commit to invest in reskilling and upskilling workers, integrating green and digital skills and improving the attractiveness of the sector. Signatories of the Pact will benefit from networking, guidance and resources offered by the EC to implement the targets which are proposed in the Pact.

The Pact for Skills is part of the EU Industrial Strategy, addressing the competitiveness of 14 critical ecosystems, including the one on textiles, leather and footwear. The main aim of the Pact is maximising the impact of investments in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). To reach such an ambitious goal, the Pact gathers various actors in the TCLF sectors: industry, employers, social partners, national and regional authorities, education and training providers. These actors should work together and invest in large-scale skills partnerships, guarantee exchange of best practices and increase the attractiveness of the sector.

Specifically, the TCLF Pact for Skills focuses on 5 objectives and for each of them, the signatories identified a certain number of target actions:

  1. Promoting a culture of lifelong learning for all: one of the actions is to design and roll out courses promoting latest technologies and digital tools such as VR and AI (digital skills) and promoting durability, repair and waste management activities (green skills), in particular circular design skills.
  2. Building a strong skills partnership with relevant stakeholders: signatories foresee to build regional and cross-sectoral partnerships between industry, education providers and authorities, which are adapted to their specific needs.
  3. Monitoring skills supply/demand and anticipating skills needs: to reach it, industry, policy and education stakeholders will establish the TCLF Skills Observatory.
  4. Working against discrimination and for gender equality and equal opportunities: signatories will launch a TCLF manifesto of diversity and a supporting initiative to improve the gender balance and ensure equal opportunities for all.
  5. Raising awareness & attractiveness on the TCLF industries, i.a. though dedicated information campaigns, showcasing the opportunities in the sector and promoting mobility for young workers.

As of early 2022, the European Commission will offer signatories of the Pact for Skills to benefit from collaboration at EU, national and regional levels and in particular gain access to networking, knowledge and guidance & resource hubs.

Download the TCLF Pact for Skills

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Leather, a gift from nature

Original content posted by: COTANCE.

According to FAO data, there are around 1,600 million cattle around the world, 1,150 million sheep and 1,000 million goats.

The reasons for having animals are multiple, ranging from raising them for the production of milk and meat, to using them as a source of social prestige, assets, traction force or as a means of transportation.

Cattle transform grass and leaves that man cannot assimilate into highly nutritious food. In the EU, almost 50% of its forage comes from grasslands; the rest is made up of feed from forage crops, crop residues, oilseed cakes, by-products and around 13% of cereals. Livestock keeps our pastures and their biodiversity in good condition.

Animal welfare standards are essential and the EU Animal Welfare Policy includes the «Five freedoms for animal welfare in animal husbandry«. Animal welfare is an ethical duty. An obligation that only has advantages; only well cared for and healthy animals produce quality milk and, at the end of their lives, tasty meat. Furthermore, only well-treated animals have healthy leather or fur, which can be processed by tanners to obtain a beautiful leather.

On the contrary, the lack or the poor welfare of the animals only have adverse consequences. If there is suffering of the animals, also the farmers suffer losses and, at the end of the chain, a tanner who does not obtain a quality raw material. Animal diseases, parasite attacks, skin lesions or allergies are revealed when hides are transformed into leather.

Tanners can read hides and skins like an open book. They can identify how the animal has been treated during its life and whether the slaughter and skinning have been done professionally. The fewer defects they find, the better the animals have been treated.

A good quality hide produces a good quality leather. Whenever possible, European tanners select and choose only the best. They invest time, resources and efforts in transparency and traceability to feed information on defects into their initial supply chains and help continually improve quality through better animal welfare.

More quality leather means a more sustainable value chain; less waste, better ethics and more prosperity for all.