Industry needs young talents – this is how we promote young talents at our trade fairs

Schülergruppe auf der Messe

Young talents are the future. Without young talents the labour market will soon face a widening gap. Especially in view of skilled labour shortages, nearly all sectors of industry need targeted talent promotion. Trade fairs provide platforms to reach out to young talents. In close cooperation with educational institutes, university and college students as well as trainees Messe Düsseldorf’s trade fairs offer a diverse and appealing young talent promotion scheme.

Young talent promotion to fight skilled labour shortages

Skilled labour shortages can be felt in every sector of industry in Germany. More and more enterprises and firms are desperately looking for skilled staff and young talents. Talent promotion is as important as ever – also at our Exhibition Centre numerous trade fairs provide incentives for young talents by means of interesting programmes and initiatives.

It is especially industrial enterprises that leverage their trade fair appearances to familiarise university students, trainees as well as college students with their industries and their occupational fields. In doing so, they always closely cooperate with universities, universities of applied sciences and other educational institutes to present themselves as attractively as possible to the next generations.

Show foundry and metals4you at GMTN

By means of the metals4you Initiative for talent promotion, the trade fair quartet GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST (GMTN) recently opened their doors to college students from the age of 15 and as well freshmen and trainees, providing them with access to innovations and employers in the metallurgy and foundry sectors. Activities included various tours of the trade fairs and a one-day programme offered by trained students. The educational highlight and themed tour guided young talents right to the exhibition centre where they were able to learn everything about a future in this sector at stands and exhibits specifically geared to young visitors. In addition, interested teachers were provided with training materials for preparing and following up their trade fair visit.

The highlight in terms of talent promotion at GMTN was the Show Foundry at GIFA. Here, foundry processes could not only be observed hands-on but there was also a pattern competition where trainees were invited to submit creative pattern ideas for this Show Foundry. The adjacent BDG area provided further insights into the various segments of castings production.

Glass contest for young talents at glasstec 2022

Another performance competition for young talents was organised at glasstec 2022. The WORLDSKILLS GERMANY@GLASSTEC targeted participants from non-academic professions up to 23 years of age and is organised by the federal Association of Glazier Trades (Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks e.V.), the Association of Young Glaziers and Window Makers’ Association (Verband der Fensterbauer e.V.). During the contest the top innovations for glass processing crafts are presented in practice. In 2022 the motto read: Worldskills and the trophies were tickets for EuroSkills 2023. Competitions like these are designed to inspire young glaziers to live their passion and hone their skills.

Young Talents at glasstec
Young Talents at glasstec
The prize is being awarded
The Awarding ceremony at glasstec

Experiencing drupa as a young talent

At the world’s biggest trade fair for print media, drupa, young talent promotion ranks very high on the agenda. The collaboration with universities (of applied sciences) gives the “next generation print” an introduction to drupa before its kicks off in late May 2024.

In the past, the drupa team already organised a poster campaign in cooperation with the vocational college Fritz-Henßler Berufskolleg (FHBK). Here students designed posters with slogans for drupa, to win over other young talents from print technology education institutes for a visit to drupa. The winning poster was finally presented on social media.

Next year, the entrance concourse of drupa will be graced by a unique paper artwork created in cooperation with AMD Akademie Mode & Design Düsseldorf. Furthermore, other education institutes such as the Stuttgart Media University support the trade fair company in its talent promotion activities.

drupa Poster
The Winning Poster by Janis Hinz
Impressions from AMD
Students from AMD with drupa Director Sabine Geldermann

drupa Prize for outstanding theses

On top of this, the drupa Prize is awarded by an expert panel to young people for an outstanding doctoral thesis written at the Philosophical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf once a year. The prize money worth € 6,000 serves to publish and disseminate this award-winning work in the humanities.

Last year saw the drupa Prize 2022 being awarded to Friederike Danebrock, scientific assistant at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. Her doctoral thesis entitled “Frankenstein. On Making Fiction” deals with Mary Shelley’s cult novel Frankenstein, the associated “Frankenstein Complex” as well as adaptations of this work. However, the jury was also convinced by excellent theses in previous years. The drupa Prize for 2021, for example, went to art historian Nina Goldt for her dissertation on the female figure painting of the first third of the 20th century in Paris as the artistic centre of modernism. She describes the extent to which the changes in the Modern Age represent a visible expression of the changed position of women in society.

Young talents with their own convincing stands at EuroShop 2023

EuroShop also banks on the close cooperation with universities (of applied sciences). Jointly with Worms University, also represented with its own stand at the latest EuroShop edition, it organised a University Day. This allowed young talents with retail-related curricula to attend EuroShop at special rates and take part in special guided tours.

Other exhibition stands designed by young talents were the Messestand als Spielwiese (Exhibition Stand as a Playground) of the HSD Peter Behrens School of Art as well as the special area ROOM4SENSES comprising two stands of the Stuttgart College of Advertising Design. The latter had also organised an apprentice tour of Euroshop with 75 trainees thereby making its very own contribution to promoting education at Euroshop.

Visitor at Euro23
The ROOM4SENSES exhibition
Students on white gymnastic balls
Exhibit Messestand als Spielwiese

Let us introduce you to kai, K’s plastics education initiative

As the world’s most relevant trade fair for plastics, K brings together numerous companies and experts from the plastics industry. It thereby enables young talents to directly meet with the right contact persons for a future in the plastics sector. K’s plastic education initiative Kunststoff-Ausbildungsinitiative kai and its daily events with exciting lectures as well as special shows on job choices, careers and education in the plastics industry, also make K a trade fair with a strong focus on talent promotion.

Roboter at K
Interested students at Kai
Students GKV
The future of the plastics industry

Trade fairs as ideal platforms for young talent promotion

And this was just a shortlist of examples for talent promotion at our trade fairs. Join-in activities in the run-up to, during and after the runtime, competitions for young talents, the exchange with professionals and industry insights – indeed, trade fairs offer young people a unique opportunity to experience their potential working environment, their tasks ahead and the stakeholders of many companies hands on, before they opt for this career. This means, that trade fairs are not only relevant platforms for talent promotion but also a valuable opportunity for companies to pitch themselves as preferred employers and to promote their industry.

Have you already experienced any of our many talent promotion schemes live? What did you undertake to make your sector attractive for the next generation?

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Unser erweitertes Redaktionsteam, das uns kreativ unterstützt: Annabelle Lach, Christiane Hermann und Michelle König (v.l.n.r).