Italy Is Running out of Craftspeople, so Luxury Brands Are Training New Ones

Well Spent 10-23: Italian Luxury Brands are Training Their Own workers
By Reed Nelson

According to the New York Times, some major Italian fashion houses are hoping to help lower Italy’s youth unemployment rate, and re-up the country’s rapidly dwindling supply of artisan talent, by footing the cost to train a new generation of craftspeople.

“A youth crisis has been brewing in Italy for a while now,” the story says, noting that for young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the unemployment rate “was just over 30 percent in August.”

At the same time, a “report by Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods association, estimated that some 50,000 people working in the luxury goods industry in Italy are close to retirement,” and that same report posited that it will “be a struggle to find qualified personnel to fill those jobs.”

So, placing two birds in the path of a single stone, brands like Fendi, Tod’s, Bruno Cucinelli and Prada are launching “in-house training programs or more formal academies.”

To recruit new workers, they’ve started the Open Days program, which is ostensibly designed to showcase the “inner workings” of the brands, but are also about “convincing young people that they should think about job applications.”

And it seems to be working. The Times reports that those brands’ recruits have become such a valued commodity that Fendi’s CEO asked that “none of the last names of those who were part of the Open Days program be used for fear that they would be poached by [its] competitors.”

Kids get jobs, Italian Fashion stays Italian Fashion, everyone wins.

You can read more about it at The New York Times.

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