Global Packaging Education Standards Needed to Prevent Industry Skills Gap

The European Conference on the Future of Business Education in Packaging (FBEP) addresses the packaging skills, knowledge, and know-how required for tomorrow’s workforce in retail, logistics, fulfillment, the packaged goods industry, design agencies and suppliers of packaging materials, machinery and related services. The conference focuses on the future of business education in packaging, identifies new methods of training, and works to improve descriptions of job qualifications in packaging. These discussions are necessary to prevent a skills gaps in the packaging industry. 



The initial event took place in Enschede, Netherlands in April 2015, organized by NVC Netherlands Packaging Centre. NVC seeks to improve packaging in the region through membership, projects, education and information services. The conference consisted of a group of companies motivated to address the needs of packaging throughout the supply chain of packaged products. Professor and Director, Filip Dochy (Leuven University, Belgium) was the keynote speaker of the event. In his speech, he mentioned the importance of life-long education of the workforce, cited the global developments in the industry, and discussed the challenge of an aging workforce who cannot keep up with the rapid innovations in packaging technology. He stated only continuous education and training can avoid a skills gap that could prevent the competitiveness of companies and dampen the potential of the packaging industry.



Conference chairman Michael Nieuwesteeg (NVC Netherlands Packaging Centre) pointed out the importance of a well-defined, globally-comparable set of packaging job qualifications. This is the starting point for the creation of appropriate examination qualification procedures, as well as training and educational programs. Niewesteeg agreed with Prof. Dochy that the focus of educational methods (online, classroom, blended, company visits, joint assignments, etc.) should be on the learning outcomes. Nieuwesteeg referenced the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), which is the backbone for the development of the European NVC Course Programmes in Packaging I and II.

Four essential considerations of business education in packaging were cited:

  • The development of qualified packaging professionals
  • The difference between educating the workforce (aged 25-67) and students (aged 18-24)
  • The many different positions in the organization where packaging knowledge is required
  • The international harmonization of the job qualifications 

Online certifications regarding business education in packaging were also highlighted during the discussion. Preparations are on the way for the 1st Global Conference on the Future of Business Education in Packaging. This will be held on Sunday, May 7th, 2017 in Dusseldorf (Germany), during packaging exhibition Interpack.

The Packaging School closely follows developing international standards in packaging education and training to ensure our graduates meet global job qualifications. 

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