An initiative in The Netherlands to provide cohesive and high quality print and online educational materials for prospective agricultural technicians is being taken up by other countries to create a pan-European resource.

The TIM — Tech in Motion — initiative developed by Fedecom, the industry organization for agricultural machinery dealers in The Netherlands, has impressed equivalent organizations in Belgium, Hungary and Poland who are now cooperating with their Dutch counterparts to create TIM Europe.

Their aim is to make the existing teaching materials covering agricultural mechanization accessible to other branch organizations and their educational partners in Europe.

Fedecom emphasizes the need for cooperation between agricultural industry bodies and educators to create tailor-made teaching materials, facilitate professional in-service training of teachers, and develop a strong interaction between companies and schools.

Its mission is to create the new talent of tomorrow by delivering quality education that matches demand, partly by making education more attractive by showing future students why agricultural practices and technology are so challenging. They are also sourcing grant applications to shape projects and assisting companies in the education and supervision of students.

According to CLIMMAR, the European umbrella body for machinery dealer associations, the new project will also aim to tackle the shortage of technicians/engineers in agricultural mechanization, partly by developing promotional materials that highlight the advantages of working in the sector.

Possible collaboration with local programs within the partner countries is also being considered and organizations within the group say they will try to learn from each other’s best practices for attracting talent. A steering committee has been established to draw up a plan of action with a view to getting the project underway in October of this year.

The Equipment Dealers Foundation (EDF) also recently launched their own initiative, meant to familiarize parents and educators of middle and early high school students about the advantages of a career as an equipment technician